Skip to main content

Full text of "Offensive basketball."

See other formats

hbl, stx 

GV 885.M27 
Offensive basketball. 

3 =1153 DDSTDlSb 1 



Date Due 






Frank McGuire 


™REB^XICE-HTAJL1< 9 Inc. englewood cliffs, n. j. 





Second printing, July, 1959 

© 1958, by PRENTICE-HALL, Inc. 
Englewood Cliffs, N. J. 

all rights reserved. no part of this 
book may be reproduced in any form, 
by mimeograph or any other means, 
without permission in writing from 
the publishers. 

Library of Congress Catalog Card 
Number: 58-14410 





It is a pleasure and an honor to preface this book on basketball 
by Frank McGuire. I first became acquainted with Frank during 
our navy days at Chapel Hill, a beautiful little town in North Caro- 
lina. Frank has always been a keen student of the game of basket- 
ball and imparts his wisdom to his players with much enthusiasm. He 
finished one of the most remarkable years ever compiled in basket- 
ball in 1957. when his team won 32 straight games and the National 
Collegiate Championship. 

One of the reasons behind Frank's success is the way he affects 
his players. He is an inspiration to them, since they not only respec: 
and obey him willingly, but also try to live up to his desire that they 
set an example for their fellow students spiritually, morally, and 
scholastic ally. 

Frank has been called the best public relations man in North 
Carolina. He has many friends from even' walk of life in all parts 
of the country. He is in constant demand as a speaker because of his 
knowledge of basketball and human behavior. He also conducts 
many clinics each year. 

At North Carolina they say that one of the best things that has 
happened to their athletic program was when McGuire became bas- 
ketball coach. In his first five years as coach, his teams won 88 
games while losing 36. He has been building steadily and his North 


Carolina teams have won, at one time or another, over all major 
foes. Some of his victories have been spectacular upsets. 

The genial Irishman has hoisted North Carolina University's 
basketball team from a low ebb to high respectability. His engag- 
ing personality has won friends who will continue to be friends and 
admirers regardless of the win-and-loss record of his teams. Though 
his job is producing winning teams, and he likes to do his job well, 
his good nature and thoughtfulness are not impaired by the pressure 
of his profession. His office in Wollen Gym at the University is 
always open to his friends and students. 

In addition, Frank is reputed to be one of the best young coaches 
in the country. He came to North Carolina from his Alma Mater, 
St John's University, where he coached for 5 years, with his 
teams compiling the brilliant record of 106 wins against 36 losses. 
Four of his St. John's teams went to the N.I.T. tournaments and 
two to the N.C.A.A. tournaments. Previous to coaching at St. 
Johns, where he himself had been a star basketball and baseball 
player, he coached at Xavier High School, New York City. 

At the end of the 1956-1957 season, Frank joined the select 
circle of coaches who have experienced undefeated records. In 
compiling this record, his team won the Dixie Classic, the A. A. C. 
Conference Championship, the A. C. C. Conference tournament, 
the Eastern Championship, and the N.C.A.A. title. 

W. H. H. "Tippy" Dye 
Coach of Basketball 
University of Washington 


An old maxim exists which states that a coach is no better than 
his players. The truth of this axiom has been proven time and again. 
Being an eternal optimist — what coach isn't — I like to dream that 
some season when I don't have the material, I can somehow mould 
the boys into such a unit and fire them up with such a spirit that 
we can win in spite of the lack of material. In fact, in a few rare 
instances, coaches have been able to pull off such miracles. But I 
have been at the game long enough to know that such dreams don't 
often materialize. The best a coach can hope for year after year 
is not to pull off a miracle, but to realize the potential of the material 
with which he has to work. A coach never looks bad when he has 
an ordinary season with weak material, but he certainly does with 
strong material. 

All I am trying to say is that I have been coaching long enough 
to realize the vital importance of the players. I hope I never be- 
come so self -centered that I forget that fact. Most of my time is 
devoted to finding a few boys who will fit, temperamentally and 
physically, into my system. There are, I am quick to add, hundreds 
and even thousands of high school graduates each year who can 
play excellent college ball. But, early in their careers all coaches 
and players fall into certain definite patterns. As a result, many 
fine players, through no fault of their own, just will not fit into 



a different system. The successful coach, therefore, must be able to 
recognize — and he frequently doesn't have much time — the boys 
who can play his style of basketball. 

At this point, of course, there is a great deal of luck involved. 
We can — and frequently do — make mistakes. The player fails to 
develop, or he won't work, or he thinks too slowly, or he gets 
hurt, or he becomes homesick and goes home, or he can't pass his 
school work. These and other related problems insure coaches 
gray hairs and stomach ulcers long before their time. All any 
coach can do is try to eliminate as many of these difficulties as 

By now, I know pretty well the type of boys I want for my system 
and I try as hard as I can to get them interested in playing under 
my direction. This is only a part of it. It is necessary to interest 
them in the University of North Carolina and to be reasonably cer- 
tain that they can not only pass North Carolina's entrance examina- 
tions, but that they can maintain the scholastic average that the 
University requires for good standing. That, as all coaches know, 
is a grave problem. Even when we secure thoroughly capable 
students, we sometimes have a hard time making them understand 
that academic competence comes first in importance. 

Many prep school stars, potentially fine students, fall by the way 
because their chief interest is in sports alone. For the most part, 
however, this problem solves itself once the boys get settled. They 
invariably like the school and the town so well that they are more 
than willing to do whatever work is necessary to make a place for 
themselves in the school as students. I came to North Carolina 
University from New York City and since I planned, in the be- 
ginning, at least, to look there for my material, I thought the 
problem of acclimating the boys might prove serious. Actually, this 
has never been a problem. 

As every college coach knows, basketball in many parts of the 
country is characterized by certain pecularities of style developed 
through tradition, coaching, weather conditions, playgrounds, and 
so on. And a coach like me often feels that he is better off to find 


boys who have played under conditions and in a style with which he 
is best acquainted. As a result, I have tried to find my material in and 
around New York. Not only do I know the system played there, but 
I understand the thinking of the boys since that is my home area. 
I am not foolish enough to think, of course, that boys from the 
City can run any faster or jump any higher than others, but I un- 
derstand them better, and what is even more important, they 
understand me. 

Since I have coached and played high school basketball, I am 
familiar with the problems of the high school mentor. I am keenly 
aware that he cannot seek out boys who are familiar with and 
schooled in his style of play. He must work with the boys who come 
to him up through the lower grades and his problem is concerned 
primarily with the development of players to fit into his style of 

The high school coach must, therefore, devise a system, a feeder 
system, up through the grades, the playgrounds, the Y.M.C.A. and 
the Y.M.H.A., and the community organizations and centers, 
which will provide the type of player he desires. This system calls 
for a complete organization of all "home-town" coaches to provide 
a certain type of player. It is at this point that the personality and 
salesmanship of the coach becomes invaluable. He must become the 
home-town ambassador of basketball and rally the grade school 
and other home-town coaches behind his program. It means hard 
work and long hours but will result in good players trained in the 
fundamentals and versed in the style of basketball the coach desires. 

It is my hope that in the pages of this book the hundreds of 
coaches who have written me concerning the philosophies, prin- 
ciples, and techniques that I have acquired and developed may find 
here and in my forthcoming defensive book (Defensive Basketball) 
something worth while to aid them in their own coaching careers. 

Frank McGuire 



A coaching code 1 

My basketball philosophy 7 

The player 7, The team 9, Checklist: team adaptability 9, 
Coaching 10, Practices 11, The offense 12, Scouting 12, 
The game 12 

Planning the season offensively 13 

Pre-season 13, Gymnasium and equipment 14, The cap- 
tain 14, Managers 14, Staff meetings 15, Meeting check- 
list 15, Squad meetings 16, Conditioning 16, Early season 
(first two weeks of practice) 17, In season 18, Training 
rules 18, General 18, Weight problems 19, Sleep 19, 
Diet 19, Fatigue 21, Pep talks 21 


The player and his assets 22 

Who can play basketball? 22, How does a good basketball 
player get that way? 22, Player allocations 23, The ideal 
player 24, Player advice 25, Player's checklist 25, Selecting 
the varsity 26 

Catching and passing the ball 28 

Speed 29, Judgment 30, Deception 30, Split vision 30 

The passes 31 

The two-hand chest pass 31, The bounce pass 31, The over- 
head pass 32, The hook pass 32, The baseball pass 32, 




Back-flip passes 33, The forward flip (bowling pass) 33, 
Cross-face and cross-body passes 33, The lob pass 33, The 
jump pass 34, The fake-shot pass 34, Checklist: passing 
tips 34 

Footwork 52 

The dribble 64 

Checklist: dribble tips 65 

Fakes and feints 67 

Ball-and-foot fake 67, Dummy play 74, Fake drive and 
shot 74, Fake shot and drive 74 

Jumping 75 

Checklist: tips for the jumper 76 

Offensive rebounding 77 

Cutting 78 

Screening 86 

Developing marksmanship 93 

Marksmanship principles 102 

Facing shots 105 

Right-hand lay-up shot 107, Down-the-middle lay-up shot 
107, Two-hand underhand lay-up shot 108, One-hand 
underhand lay-up shot 108, Two-hand overhead lay-up 
shot 109, Twisting lay-up shot 109, Under-basket button- 
hook shot 109, Running one-hand shot 109, One-hand set 
shot 110, One-hand overhead shot 110, The two-hand set 
shot 111, Two-hand overhead set shot 112, Two-hand over- 
head jump shot 112, The two-hand pump shot 113, One- 
hand jump shot 113, Tip-in shot 114, Dunking and over- 
the-rim shots 114 

Back-up shots 115 

Straight turn shot under basket 115, Step-away shot under 
basket 115, Up-and-under shot 116, One-hand jump-twist 
shot 116, The hook shot (left and right) 116, The half- 
hook shot 117, Two-hand underhand sweep shot 118, One- 
hand underhand sweep 118 

Diagonal shots 118 

Diagonal hook shot 118, Diagonal stop-jump shot 119, 
One-hand jump push shot 119 



Free-throw shots 120 

Two-hand overhand free throw 120, Two-hand overhead 
free throw 120, Checklist: shooting tips 121 


Theory of team offense 150 

The two-three 150, Offense checklist 153 
Advancing the ball 154 

The fast break 156 

Checklist: fast-break principles 158, Checklist: fast-break 
tips 166 

Give-and-go weave 167 

Utilizing the big man 172 

The turnaround play 175 

The two-man plays (186 j 

The three-man plays 196 

Game signals 207 

The basic offense 208 

Attacking the man-to-man defense 208, The five-man 
give-and-go weave 210 

Basic two-three offense 212 

The five-man roll 237 

The four-man roll with a post-pivot 238 

Attacking the two-one-two zone 238 

Attacking the two-three zone 241 

Attacking the one-two-two zone 242 

Attacking the three-two zone 244 

Attacking the one-three-one zone 245 

The three-two offense 247 

The basic zone offense 247 



Jump-ball team play 250 

Out-of-bounds plays 256 

Playing the lane 266 

The control game 266 

Free-throw play 268 

Freezing the ball 268 

Checklist: freezing tips 274 

Meeting the press 275 

Attacking the sag and the float 280 

Attacking defensive variations 281 


Organization for game day 285, Checklist: game day 
plan 285, Checklist: game strategy 286, Locker-room de- 
tails 288, Pre-game practice 288 

Offensive game strategy 289 

Style of game to be played 289, The first time-out 289, 
Substitutions 290, Between halves 291, Checklist: freezing 
the ball 292, Special plays— with seconds to go 293, Scout- 
ing opponents' offense 293, Checklist: meeting opponents' 
defense 294 


Offensive drills 297 
Offense practice outlines 317 
First week 319 
Second week 320 
Third week 322 
Conclusion 323 

INDEX 324 




|A| [§] [C] [Dj LMj defensive players 








coaching principles and 


1. general perspective 

Basketball is only a part of the general educational system and 
must be kept in its proper perspective. A coach should familiarize 
himself with the administrative policies and regulations of the 
school and follow them to the letter with a cooperative and cordial 
attitude. He should cooperate fully with the eligibility and schol- 
arship regulations of the school and conference and support them 
100 per cent. 

2. faculty standing 

The coach is a member of the faculty and must endeavor to 
follow the approved methods and techniques of ethical and effi- 
cient teaching. He must conduct himself with dignity and be fully 
aware of his responsibilities as a leader of youth. 

3. training and health 

The health of the players is of supreme importance. A careful 



training program must be outlined and every possible measure 
taken to protect the squad. An injured player should never be 
neglected by the coach. Nor should the injured player be encour- 
aged or forced to play without being thoroughly examined and 
declared fit by the school physician. The coach must never forget 
that he is not a physician. He should, therefore, refrain from pre- 
scribing treatment for illnesses or injuries. 

4. school loyalty 

It is important that the coach make a special effort to be liked 
and respected by the student body, the faculty, the administration, 
fellow coaches, and players. He should attend all pep meetings 
and boost his coaching associates and their teams. The intramural 
program should be respected and the coach should give it his full 
support, since it is an important part of the over-all program. 

5. public relations 

The coach should become acquainted with the townspeople, 
parents, and all phases of the life of the community. His relation- 
ship with the parents of the team members should be warm and 
friendly. The coach is concerned with their most vital interests. 
Further, the youngsters are at an impressionable age and the par- 
ents are vitally interested in their welfare and progress. It is wise 
to remember that success is not wholly determined by the winning 
of games. 

6. publicity 

The student paper and the local newspaper are vital assets. The 
coach should see that they get plenty of material to use in publi- 
cizing his sport. He should see that the games are announced and 
written up. He should be frank with newspaper friends but he 


should be extremely careful about chance remarks since they may 
be misinterpreted. 

7. sportsmanship 

Since the building of character and sportsmanship is of major 
importance in sports, it is the duty of the coach to make sure that 
his actions and those of his players present high ideals of sports- 
manship at all times and in all situations. The coach must re- 
member that his own behavior and speech set a pattern for his 
players, spectators and other partisans. Going further, the coach 
should avoid "pouring it on" a weak team, criticizing another 
coach or an official, or humiliating anyone under any circum- 

8. rules 

Without rules there can be no game. The coach must follow 
and abide by them and coach within the bounds of correct inter- 
pretations. The coach should also recognize the difficulties met in 
game officiating and do everything in his power to support the 
officials. If an official is clearly incompetent, he should be reported 
through the proper officials' organization. 

9. professional interest 

The coach should be aware of his personal limitations with re- 
spect to complete knowledge of the game. He must, therefore, be 
a student of the game, trying constantly to improve his knowledge 
by reading pertinent texts, through graduate study, and by attend- 
ing coaching schools, summer courses, and college and profes- 
sional games. 

The coach should do everything in his power to promote interest 
in the game, aid in the development of equipment, and safeguard 


the welfare of his players. He should endeavor to improve the game 
in his community in every way — for example, by sponsoring clinics 
and by inviting leading personalities of the game to visit his school. 
It is vital that the coach study, analyze, and experiment with 
every aspect of the game. He should be enthusiastic, energetic, in- 
dustrious, and work tirelessly to advance basketball. 

TO. player-coach relationship 

The coach should be friendly with his players and strive to de- 
velop mutual respect and confidence. He should check their mis- 
takes but be understanding of their failures. Perhaps the failure 
can be attributed to a teaching weakness. The coach should be 
understanding, sympathetic, and yet firm in dealing with his play- 
ers. In his coaching he should be exacting, but quick to praise. 

A list of training rules is important. Once initiated, the rules 
must be enforced. The coach must impress his players with the 
importance of study and with their duty to parents, the team, and 
their school to maintain academic standing and eligibility. 

1 1 . the team 

The coach must coordinate the individual players of his squad 
into a team of which he is an important part. He should in- 
spire his players to love the game and instil the desire to win. 
The coach should be with his team after every game — win or 
lose. Especially in defeat should he stand beside them, sharing 
their disappointment, but lifting their spirits by his confidence in 
the future. 

12. fundamentals 

The sound approach to coaching begins with the teaching of 
fundamentals. The coach must have the patience to drill and drill 


and drill again in the correct performance of the fundamental skills 
of the game. There is no short-cut to successful coaching. Trick 
methods, short-cuts, and Fancy Dan plays lead only to disaster. 
A good team is one that is sound — fundamentally! 

13. leadership 

The coach must have the ability to "take charge," since he can 
develop leadership in his players only by displaying confidence, 
poise, and aggressiveness in a given situation. Action of some kind 
in a crisis is better than no action at all. 

14. practice programs 

The coach should plan his season and his daily practices care- 
fully since time is precious. Without careful planning it is easy to 
overlook an important part of the program. Yet, while following 
through with intelligent and careful planning and a driving, game- 
type workout, the coach must not forget the importance of "fun" 
in his practices. 

Since the coach must conserve every minute of his practice time, 
he should demand that the players report promptly for the work- 
outs and games. Supervision of the locker room is important to 
control horseplay and to check injuries. The coach and his assist- 
ants, managers, trainers, and other leaders should set the example. 

Planned practice sessions conserve time and aid in sustaining 
attention. There should be such complete understanding between 
the coach and the players that his voice or a blast on the whistle 
will command immediate attention. 

It has been said time and again that basketball is a game of 
habits. The down-to-earth approach to the mastery of fundamentals 
requires constant repetition through drills. However, the daily pro- 
gram should be planned so that each difficult and trying drill is 
followed by a "rest" or fun drill. This aids the coach in keeping 
his players alert and enthusiastic. 


Repetition until the act becomes a habit is unquestionably the 
secret in mastering basketball skills. But such repetition without 
frequent change can and does develop player fatigue and monot- 
ony. A short, snappy drill on one phase of the game executed 
enthusiastically and then shifted to another and different type of 
work will insure much greater results. 

Every drill in the coach's program should be directed specifically 
toward the development and improvement of a skill that blends into 
his planned offense and defense. Great teams are found to be 
composed of players who are strong in the execution of funda- 

Progress in learning, condition, and team spirit accompanied by 
a close personal relationship between coach and player will build 
strong esprit de corps. Discipline is necessary, but it can be de- 
veloped more effectively through player respect than through posi- 
tion authority. It is wise, too, to keep in mind that harsh criticism 
destroys respect and confidence, whereas praise builds personal 
and team morale. 

I like to come to each of my practices with something new. Per- 
haps it is a funny story, a new drill, a new play, or some sort of 
basketball idea that may prove a diversion from the usual practice 

I believe in the value of individual coaching. A good way to 
work this into the practice program is to arrive early on the court 
and to move from one player to another and assist each with some 
phase of the game in which he needs help. I believe also in the 
value of working with small groups. Long lines of players who must 
wait interminably a turn in executing a drill means a poorly or- 
ganized practice program and the loss of valuable working time. 
Form your players into small groups at different locations on the 
floor and see that every player is kept busy. 

1 5. the coach 

The coach is much more than a teacher of sports. He is a leader 


of youth. Cleanliness of mind, person, dress, and speech are as 
much a part of his stock in trade as a knowledge of basketball. 
And, since the players represent the school, the community, and 
the coach, it is important that they be taught the value of personal 
cleanliness, clean and well-pressed clothing, politeness, courtesy, 
clean speech, and good table manners. Further, since their school- 
mates often use them as examples, they should not permit them- 
selves to become sloppy in dress or to go unshaven, or the like. 
The coach must demand that the players observe the same rigid 
self -discipline he observes. 

Boys and young men are highly impressionable, particularly in 
the field of sports. Quite often, whether he realizes it or not, the 
coach becomes a sort of hero to his players and other youngsters. 
It is imperative that he make a wholesome impact, demonstrate 
manliness, a strong competitive spirit, exemplify good sportsman- 
ship, and stress strict observance of the rules. All coaches teach 
character — and their degree of success is in no way measured by 
games won or lost. 

Most important of all, the coach must remember that he repre- 
sents the type of man to whom he would entrust his own son for 
character training. 


One definition of a philosophy is that it is one's personal attitude 
expressed in a systematic body of general conceptions with the 
implication that they will be generally applied. 

It sounds pretty involved to me but I try to follow a philosophy 
toward the game of basketball that may be reflected in the follow- 
ing paragraphs. 

the player 

It is my belief that all of basketball starts with, endures with, and 
ends with the player. I believe that it is my job to instil spirit and 


enthusiasm in my players, inspire them with the intense desire to 
be the best players in the world, and imbue them with a winning 

I believe that it is important to "pour it on" my players and 
make them work hard. I also believe that it is my job to so convince 
them that hard work pays great individual and team dividends that 
they will want to work hard. Along this line, I believe that a player 
remembers and respects most the coach who drills him hard and, 
through repetition, "makes him do it right." 

Happy players are good players. Practices and games should be 
fun. Too much work and too little fun results in boredom and stale- 
ness. I like to plan my practices so they will not become monot- 
onous. To that end, I like to keep the workouts hopping, shifting 
rapidly from one drill to another, accompanied by a lot of good- 
natured yelling and player enthusiasm. 

Though it is important to have player discipline in order to get 
the best out of a boy, I want him to understand that it is he who 
plays the game, not the coach. And I want him to play freely, with- 
out fear of making a mistake. Only in free play can a boy respond 
spontaneously to game situations. 

It is easy to overplay the important members of the team. It is 
easy to do them an injustice by keeping them in the game in order 
to build up an impressive score or to increase an individual scor- 
ing record. Keep in mind that the ratio of fatigue increases and 
player effectiveness decreases with the amount of time played. 

I like to have a good supporting cast for my "first" five and to 
make the "seconds" feel important. I realize that reserves will never 
develop poise and confidence unless they are used in regular game 
play. And I realize, too, that they will never feel they really "be- 
long" unless they are used in the games. Using reserves for varsity 
"fodder" results in disgruntled players who can easily influence 
regulars in the wrong way of thinking. My players and everyone 
concerned must feel that the team is greater than the star, greater 
than the first five, the coach, or any other individual. In addition 
to bringing my varsity reserves along, I pay particular attention to 


the freshmen and the jayvee players and make sure that they 
realize that I am sincerely interested in their progress. 

Lastly, I must feel that every player who plays for me takes some- 
thing more than basketball skills and game experiences with him 
when he graduates. 

the team 

I believe that morale, poise, skill, confidence, and the will to win 
are vitally important. Team intelligence and the ability to take ad- 
vantage of game opportunities are necessary for championship 
play. An important part of my job is to impress my players that, 
in most cases, the team that makes the fewest mistakes will win. 

I feel it is my responsibility to see that my team is equipped with 
a basic attack to meet the man-to-man and the zone defenses and 
that it can use variations and modifications to take care of special 
situations. Naturally, the team should have the ability to change its 
style of play a number of times so that an effective attack can be 
summoned in any emergency. To that end, my team should and 
must have team adaptability. 


Slow down the offense when an opponent is too fast for us. 

Crash the offensive board if the opponents cannot fast-break. 


Play a possession game when the opponents adopt that style of 
play (meet fire with fire). 

Use the stall offense when the opponents have an unusually tall 
defensive player who can block our close-to-the-basket shots 
(maneuver him out of position with a planned attack). 



Utilize the fast break when the opponents do not observe de- 
fensive balance or are big and slow. 

Finally, I demand that my players be conditioned and prepared 
to put pressure on the opponents all the way — throughout the 
game, down the stretch, and in the overtime periods. This is pos- 
sible only when every player is in tip-top shape and remains that 
way from the first game of the season to the last. 


I believe the coach must exude tremendous enthusiasm for the 
game. He must love the sport and be willing to give freely of every 
part of his being to the game. He must believe in himself and in 
his methods and techniques; he must keep constantly in mind that 
basketball is a game of fundamentals. Above all, he must be him- 

I think every coach should have a predetermined concept of his 
style of attack and that he should drill his players in his methods 
until they become second nature. However, it is important to re- 
member that it is easy to "overcoach." 

Mimeographed copies of attacks and game situations are easy 
to prepare and are great coaching aids. I like to hold frequent skull 
practices and use the blackboard and the strategy board to illus- 
trate situations. In this connection, I believe it is important that 
the player take a leading part in explaining the purposes and 
reasons for the pertinent offenses in the given situations. 

Time is of the essence; wasted time is dangerous. Each of my 
practices is outlined, and the outline is followed at full speed. 
Short practices, during which the elements are run off smoothly and 
enthusiastically, are much more valuable than long-drawn-out 

I believe in stressing a philosophy of pressure offense. I feel it is 


important that my players feel that they are champions, that the 
opponents must worry about us. 

I am fully aware that the health of my players is vital. Therefore, 
it is important that they be protected from colds, sprains, foot 
blisters, and other threats. Here the services of a trainer or a team 
physician are invaluable. Training rules should require a certain 
amount of sleep, regular meals, and other sound practices as out- 
lined later on in this chapter. 

I believe that my team must be well trained in the basic skills. 
Every player should be a good shooter, have basketball speed, be 
well conditioned, be an expert ball handler, know the importance 
of offensive rebounding, and understand the basic offenses and 
their application. 

The coach should have a close relationship with his captain and 
his quarterback. Daily talks and a "meeting of the minds" with 
respect to strategy and game tactics are important. 

I try to use all my players. I like to get my substitutes into the 
game when we have a lead and/or in the first half of any game. No 
game is ever lost in the first half. It is important that my best five 
be ready for the final part of the game — rested, free from the 
worry of personal fouls, and in a good competitive frame of mind. 

Every game is the game. You invite disaster when you look 
ahead to a future rival and forget the game at hand. It is far better 
to try to win them "one at a time." 


I believe that practice sessions should simulate as closely as 
possible game conditions. Since our games at North Carolina Uni- 
versity are usually played at night, I favor night practices. (I realize 
that this may not be possible in high-school and preparatory-school 
competition for many reasons that usually do not affect college 
coaching.) I believe in charted areas and spots for shooting. And 
I believe that players shoot better from certain areas on the court 
than from others. 


the offense 

In my opinion, team offense begins with the fast break. But I 
also believe that it should be a controlled break and one that lends 
itself to the best use of the player talent available. I like my players 
to be so skilled in the use of the fast break that they can pull out of 
it without a bad shot or loss of the ball when it is obvious that the 
advantage is lost. 

I do not believe in a set offense or in set plays as such. In my 
opinion, any offense is good that employs free circulation, floor 
balance, and the coordination of the players through the execution 
of fundamentals. However, in teaching my type of offense, I believe 
in drilling my players in certain plays and series of plays in order 
to develop automatic passing and scoring reactions to the situations 
that may be met. 

I believe in slowing down my team's attack when I feel it is 
necessary in order to win. And I believe in freezing the ball when 
it may insure victory. 

I believe that it is extremely important to make definite plans 
and practice regularly getting the ball from the center jump, from 
held balls, loose balls, and rebounds, and through interceptions. 


I believe scouting is important; scouting notes assist materially 
in the winning of games. Every coach should avail himself of the 
best scouts available. 

the game 

The coach should have his team ready to adapt an offense to 


meet any defense, and he must not be afraid to gamble. He should 
make the decisions. The players expect him to lead and to take 
the initiative when decisions are necessary. He should not sit, and 
wait, and hope that things will improve. He should act! 



A coach should keep in close touch with his players during the 
entire year. Most boys who play basketball become specialists in 
the sport and play the year around. Year-round play is possible 
because of the development of summer basketball and the con- 
struction of outdoor courts all over the country. The veteran mem- 
ber of the team may not need much advice toward improving him- 
self during the summer, but the freshmen and other players who 
have not reached a high degree of development should be given 
some suggestions so that they may work on them during the sum- 
mer. Mere thinking about these suggestions will help, and the fact 
that the coach has given thought to their improvement is im- 
portant in building the players' morale. 

When it is impossible to keep in close personal contact with his 
players, the coach can send them a general letter a month or six 
weeks previous to the opening practice. This letter should contain 
an outline of the season plans and objectives and some personal 
hints for individual improvement as well as some suggestions con- 
cerning conditioning. It is wise to advise the player that he should 
not engage in regular games prior to the first practice, but that he 
should shoot around for fun, improve his dribbling, passing, re- 
bounding, jumping, and other fundamentals. Certain exercises such 
as rope skipping, light calisthenics, shadow boxing, use of a medi- 
cine ball, and running to strengthen the legs and improve the wind 
are to be recommended. 


gymnasium and equipment 

The head coach should personally check the equipment he will 
need for the season, making sure that it is in good condition and 
that there is sufficient quantity to adequately suit-up his varsity, 
junior varsity, freshmen, and other teams. Next he should inspect 
the gymnasium to see that the court is well marked and in good 
condition. The baskets, nets, scoreboard, time clock, and scoring 
tables should also be checked at this time. 

the captain 

The selection of a captain is a serious matter for everyone con- 
cerned: for the school, the student body, the coach, and particu- 
larly for the team. Since the captain is the team's representative, I 
want to be sure the right man is selected. For some years I have 
personally appointed the captain and the method has been suc- 


A good senior manager means a good start. It is important that 
the right youngster have the job. It has been my good fortune to 
have managers who were fine administrators and enthusiastic 

An organization functioning year after year in which freshmen, 
sophomores, juniors, and seniors advance in that order to the posi- 
tion of head manager means that the coach will have an experi- 
enced and interested youngster on hand to handle the hundred- 
and-one details and responsibilities encountered during the season. 

The duties are too numerous to discuss here. However, if a 
check list is mimeographed for each practice, home game, game 


away from home, and tournament, it will eliminate many over- 
sights and insure the proper execution of the managers' duties. 

staff meetings 

The head coach will undoubtedly have his season plans formu- 
lated in advance, but it is wise to devote several staff meetings to 
their discussion. The assistant coaches, trainer, captain, and the 
senior manager should be present. 

At these meetings the duties of each member of the staff should 
be outlined and, in general, the following should be discussed: 


Review the previous season's highlights, weaknesses of the team 
such as shooting, ball handling, defense, use of the fast break, re- 
bounding, blocking out, taking bad shots, condition, cliques, 


Evaluate returning and new players. 

Plan the offense and defense. 

Set up conditioning and training rules. 

Plan the use of teaching aids, movies, charts. 

Plan a practice outline built around the season's schedule. 

Discuss drills and special attacks and defenses. 


Prepare player progress charts, game performance charts. 

Plan for trips and look ahead to tournaments. 

squad meetings 

Several orientation meetings should precede actual floor prac- 
tices. With the liberal use of a blackboard, the coach can familiarize 
the squad with his offensive and defensive theories of the game, 
conditioning and training rules; outline and discuss his season 
plans, drills, and practice outlines; and cover the basketball rules. 

Forms for physical examinations and parents' playing permis- 
sion can be distributed and gotten out of the way. The entire staff 
should take part in these meetings and cover their assigned duties 
so that all concerned will understand their responsibilities. 


Pre-season work by the individual player should enable him to 
report for the early-season practices in fairly good condition. If a 
new candidate or even a veteran is not sufficiently interested in his 
personal physical condition to do some pre-season work, it is doubt- 
ful that he will contribute much to the team. Personally, I find that 
it is impossible to keep my players away from basketball. Many 
of them work out all summer and, as soon as school opens, they 
are at it again — practicing their shots, dribbling, driving-in, re- 
bounding, passing. This means that I can begin my early-season 
work fairly certain that much of the basic conditioning has been 

I believe that conditioning can be most wisely accomplished 
through basic drills and training in fundamentals. However, calis- 


thenics, rope skipping, shadow boxing, and the use of medicine 
balls are excellent conditioners. Medicine-ball drills are excellent 
for loosening up the fingers, strengthening wrists, and for prac- 
ticing all passes. Incorporating bending, turning, and twisting in- 
sures a good workout before actual practice begins. 

early season (first two weeks of practice) 

A complete week-by-week practice outline will be found in the 
latter part of this book (see p. 319). The consideration in early 
practice is the integration of conditioning activity with fundamental 
drills that are directed toward the development of basketball skills. 
For example, the development of leg power and "wind" can be 
accomplished just as easily by a fast-break drill or a full-press drill 
as by running on an outdoor track. 

A word of caution is advisable here. The feet are unused to the 
hard running and the sudden stops and starts, and it is wise to limit 
such action for the first few days. The use of two pairs of sox and 
a commercial hardening application will be of great help. Tincture 
of Benzoin will harden the skin, assist in preventing blisters, and 
prevent athlete's foot. 

Many coaches jeopardize the entire season by overworking their 
players during the first few practices. It is easy to work your play- 
ers so hard the first day or two that they may be crippled for an 
entire week. This means loss of time and, more important, loss of 
the player. Naturally, the conditioning program is stepped up 
until the squad is able to work at full speed during the entire 
practice session. 

The players soon become familiar with the coaching methods, 
and now a time schedule can be put into operation. I work no more 
than five or ten minutes on a single fundamental or drill. Midway 
in the practice I like to allow a ten-minute freedom "break" in 
which the players may do as they wish. 


in season 

Once the game season arrives, the big problem is to maintain 
the conditioning level achieved in the early-season workouts. This 
can be a serious problem because of the time required for special 
offensive and defensive work in preparing for the next opponent, 
light practices following and preceding difficult games, and in 

training rules 

The trainer is an invaluable member of the staff. His advice in 
setting up the practice outlines, establishing the training rules, and 
determining a proper and balanced diet is followed to the letter. 
Naturally, the high school coach must, in most cases, assume this 
responsibility with the assistance of the school physician. 

General. I have never drawn up a definite set of training 
rules. I believe that the players should be aware of the importance 
of securing plenty of sleep, a balanced diet, an abundance of fruit, 
and plenty of water between meals. Naturally, smoking and the 
use of intoxicating beverages cannot be countenanced. 

A basketball player acquires drive through hard training, forc- 
ing himself day after day beyond the point at which he first be- 
comes fatigued until he reaches his maximum potential. For that 
reason, I do not believe in lay-offs during the season. If practices 
are interrupted for any reason, I believe the player should be urged 
to keep in shape through roadwork, calisthenics, volleyball, and the 

If the players desire a good team and are sold on training as 


vital to the success of the team, they will be glad to cooperate. It 
is fairly easy to tell whether training rules are being violated. In- 
ability to keep up with teammates in the usual drills, poor condi- 
tion, nervousness, and fatigue are indications. 

Weight problems. A weight chart should be kept by the 
trainer, assistant coach, or manager. The player should weigh-in 
for practice and weigh-out after his shower. A study of the chart 
from time to time will enable the trainer or coach to determine 
whether the player is losing weight too rapidly. If so, it is wise to 
have the boy checked by a physician. After the first two or three 
weeks the athlete who maintains his weight level certainly is not 
overtrained and is in little danger of going stale. 

Sleep. The highly trained and conditioned basketball player 
requires from eight to ten hours of sleep. During sleep the body 
repairs broken-down tissue, renews muscular strength, and dis- 
poses of waste products. 

Diet. The subject of diet for the athlete has been controversial 
for many years. However, it is certain that three regular meals a 
day are necessary. Breakfast and dinner should be heavy meals and 
lunch should be light. 

The player should not practice for at least two hours after meals, 
nor should he eat for at least an hour after practice. Before games 
it is wise to eat three to four hours before the contest. It is my 
opinion that a normal mixed diet is sufficient for the average 

The college coach has the assistance of an efficient trainer and 
usually a training table under the direction of a trained dietician. 
This normally takes care of the problem. The high school coach 
must rely upon the athlete's parents. The average mother normally 
prepares meals that are appetizing, appealing to the eye, and well 
balanced. She will usually be glad to follow the suggestions of the 
coach with respect to diet in the interests of her son. 

Something like the following might be suggested to the player's 


Fruit juice 

Whole fruit (such as grapefruit, oranges, pears) 
Cereal (whole grain) 
Eggs (poached, boiled, scrambled) 
Ham or bacon (small portion) 
Toast and jelly 


Fresh fruit 
Milk or tea 


Lean meat, fowl, or fish 

Fresh vegetables (raw) 

Cooked vegetables 




Pre-game meal 
12-ounce steak 
Baked potato 
Dry toast 
Fruit cup 
Hot tea 

Poached egg 

Thin slice of beef (no gravy) 
Fruit juices 

Moderate cool water 
Something sweet (chocolate bar) 



There are two kinds of fatigue: physical and mental. Physical 
fatigue is normally evidenced by loss of weight, a drawn look, 
worry, lack of pep, irritability, lack of stamina, and an erratic prac- 
tice or game performance. The causes could be a poor diet, lack 
of sleep, working or studying too hard, sickness, lack of interesting 
practices or games, or the need for a rest. 

Rest is the best cure for physical fatigue. Limited practice, im- 
proved diet, more water and juices, sleep, sunshine, music, singing, 
fun, relaxation, and massage will help. 

Mental fatigue in athletics usually results from boredom and 
loss of interest. When the same practice outline is followed day 
after day and when long periods of time are devoted to practice of 
a single skill, enthusiasm will lag. 

New plays, new drills, new methods, competition, fun games, 
and a complete change of practice program will usually bring back 
the desired enthusiasm and drive. This is the point where the coach 
must not permit himself to let down in his personal drive. His in- 
terest must be high, enthusiastic, driving, and he should present 
his coaching material in a different manner. 

pep talks 

I do not believe in pre-game pep talks. It is detrimental to push 
your team to a high emotional point too often during the season. 
The morale of winning teams is consistent and they do not require 
the emotional approach. 


developing individual 
attack abilities 

who can play basketball? 

Nearly any boy or man can play basketball. In the last few years 
the trend has been toward tall players but there is plenty of room 
in the game for those of any size. Height is important, but the ad- 
vantage is often lost because of lack of speed or poor coordination. 
Though speed is vital in today's jet-propelled game, there are liter- 
ally thousands of players who possess only ordinary speed but make 
up for it by spirit, drive, teamplay, good ball handling, and shoot- 
ing skill. Big, heavy players often find a place on the team because 
of their rebounding and "feeding" abilities. Scores of teams 
throughout the country are sparked by small players. Most of the 
good teams I have coached included one or more players in each 
of the categories described above. 

how does a good basketball player get that way? 

He can make himself good by possessing an intense desire to 
improve; by intelligent and constant practice; by studying the game 
and its situations, and by developing a spirit of teamplay, sports- 



manship, and self-confidence. A little encouragement, interest, and 
constructive criticism can do wonders in the development of an 
ambitious youngster. 

player allocations 

The trend in recent years has been toward development and use 
of players by offensive and defensive positions. Professional basket- 
ball has pretty generally classified its offensive players to conform 
with the Two-Three offensive formation (two backcourt operators, 
two corner men, and a pivot or post player). Defensively, these 
teams set up with the backcourt players serving as front-line chasers 
while the pivot and corner men guard the under-basket area, block- 
ing out and retrieving the ball. 

Backcourt players are usually the "quarterbacks"; corner men 
operate from the corners; and the pivot or post man works out from 
the basket or near it for scoring or "feeding" purposes. With three 
big men in the forward line, it is not uncommon in this style of play 
for the front-line men to exchange positions and duties. The smaller 
backcourt players usually lead the fast break, set up the attacking 
formation and, because of their superior passing and dribbling 
abilities, initiate the plays. Such players must be good outside shoot- 
ers, hard dribblers, possess a good stop shot (jumper or set), be 
expert in keeping the offense spread, and have the ability to con- 
trol their teammates so that the team will maintain good defensive 

Corner men are usually tall, rangy, and possess good leaping 
ability. They are good rebounders and fast enough to take part in 
the fast break. They must be good passers; fine corner marksmen 
(usually one-hand sets and jumpers); must be able to drive along 
the baseline or to the inside; and must be expert at following-in 
their teammates' shots. In some offensive styles these corner men 
often team up with the backcourt "quarterbacks" in developing a 
weave or roll attack. 


The pivot or post player must have good back-up shots (pivot, 
turn, and hook shots) near the basket. Today most of the pivot 
men are expert with facing shots (the one-hand set and the jumper) . 
Further, most front-court plays are directed toward or around the 
pivot man who sets up a position on either side of the free-throw 
lane or in the outer half of the free-throw circle. These big fellows 
are usually heavier and more rugged than the corner man. De- 
fensively, they must be able to cope with the opponents' pivot 
player and be the team's dominant figure "under the boards." 

The above allocation or positioning of players permits the use 
of the professional style of basketball and practically any other 
offense, including the give-and-go or Eastern style, a four-man 
weave or Western Roll, variations of the figure-eight, and other 
pattern attacks. 

Personally, I have found that the Two-Three formation permits 
quick conversion to other setups such as the Three-Two, the five- 
man weave, and a four-man roll with the pivot man stationed in 
the outer half of the free-throw circle. A little variation of the Two- 
Three formation results in a good formation with which to attack 
various zone defenses. Because of its all-around effectiveness and 
my familiarity with the Two-Three, I have added a few variations 
and adopted the style as my basic offense. 

the ideal player 

In my opinion, the most important asset a player can have is 
love for the game. If a player really loves basketball he can over- 
come many personal handicaps. The fact that he loves basketball, 
means, in most cases, that he has the right spirit; that he will work 
hard to succeed; that he is coachable. I place a high premium on 
good temperament, a spirit of cooperation, and a fighting heart. 
Naturally, physical attributes of speed, agility, height, and mental 
alertness are of vital concern. The will to win, courage, team spirit, 
ability to learn, willingness to sacrifice personal glory for the sake 


of the team, and the perseverance necessary to train and maintain 
academic standing are important. 

Naturally, the abilities to pass, shoot, dribble, rebound, and 
guard an opponent are necessary game skills. But with the above 
mentioned qualities of spirit to urge him on, I believe almost any 
boy can master the fundamentals of the game. 

player advice 

Basically, the player who wishes to excel in basketball must like 
to play the game, possess good physical stamina and good emo- 
tional control. He must be willing to train and follow training rules 
conscientiously as an evidence of his loyalty to his teammates, the 
team, the coach, and the school. 

Basketball is a game calling for quick reflexes and fine coordina- 
tion. Shadow boxing, heavy-bag punching, rope skipping, and 
medicine-ball calisthenics all help in developing coordination. Of- 
fensive game skills such as passing, shooting, jumping, rebounding, 
dribbling, and screening can be perfected only by hours of practice. 
Defensive skills such as guarding, switching, blocking out, and re- 
bounding call for hour after hour of intense work. 


School work is the beginning. If the candidate is a good student, 
the chances are he will be a good player. 


Listen to the coach, follow his directions, and hustle. 


Courage and the inner force (heart) that make a player fight 
right up to the last second of the game are the player's finest 



Control of emotions means a clear head in a tough situation and 
aids in being a good sportsman. Hotheads often go to pieces in 
tense moments. 

Rules and officials govern the game. The good player will fa- 
miliarize himself thoroughly with the rules and will respect the 
officials' interpretations. 

Since basketball is a team game, the player must direct every 
effort toward being a good teamplayer. 

A good basketball player plays clean. He doesn't resort to dirty 
tricks to demonstrate his ability. 


If a player must relax during a game, he should do so when his 
team has the ball. 

Alertness pays off. The player who is wide awake will be invalu- 
able in taking advantage of scoring openings. 


The player must be coachable, able to assimilate instructions, and 
big enough to take criticism. He must keep in mind that correc- 
tion of mistakes is a part of teaching. 

selecting the varsity 

Methods of selecting the varsity squad vary, naturally, with the 
size of the school and the number of candidates reporting for prac- 
tice. Considerations associated with the selection of each player are 
his mental and moral characteristics, his present ability, his po- 


tential (possible future development), and his value in terms of 
position and team responsibilities. 

Naturally, a coach wants to select the best players. Like baseball 
scouts, most basketball coaches like to see the potential members 
of their squad in action, in actual competition, in game after game. 
But that is not always possible unless the candidates have come up 
through freshman or junior varsity basketball, or have played on 
physical-education, intramural, or other teams that the coach has 
had a chance to watch. 

When the coach has no previous knowledge of the candidate's 
ability under fire, in game competition, he must use other methods 
of determining his ability. Practice scrimmages, execution of drills, 
marksmanship ability, and the player's performance in three-man 
basketball, two-on-two, and one-on-one may help. Some coaches 
take recourse to performance charts. Offensive and defensive skills 
in practice scrimmages and games are recorded: shots attempted 
and made from the field, free-throw accuracy, offensive and de- 
fensive rebounds, assists, interceptions, jump-ball control and re- 
coveries, held balls, bad passes, fumbles, violations, and personal 
and technical fouls. 

Selection of the best players is far from being the final step. Cer- 
tain questions must be applied even to the best players: Can they 
blend into the style of play? Are they teamplayers? Can they effec- 
tively fulfill your offensive and defensive assignments? Do these 
players guarantee the squad all-over strength in the various de- 
partments of the game? 

Eliminating for the moment the mental and emotional qualities 
and concentrating on the skill side, I look for the player with good, 
quick hands who can handle the ball at full speed; who can shoot; 
who possesses good footwork; who has good height, alertness, good 
coordination; and who places the welfare of the team ahead of per- 
sonal gratification and glory. 

Does that seem like a lot? I guess it does, but the coach can only 
help his players achieve such perfection by placing his own basket- 
ball ideals at a high level. 


It is important to keep in mind that it is easy to make mistakes 
in selecting varsity players. The big, awkward kid who has two left 
feet may not be ready right now, but who can say how far he will 
progress in another year. Much thought and care should be de- 
voted to maintaining the interest of such unsuccessful candidates. 
I believe it is only fair that the coach talk privately with each player 
who is eliminated and assure him that he is anxious for the player 
to maintain an interest in the game. 

The player should not be misled. He should be told wherein he 
has failed and what he can do to correct his weaknesses. The coach 
can usually maintain the interest of the unsuccessful candidate by 
making sure that he has a chance to engage in jayvee, club, class, 
intramural, or some other form of competitive basketball. Some- 
times he can be given a job with the team, such as taking game 
notes, charting player performance in scrimmages and games, 
scouting, or reporting. 


Handling the ball is easily the most vital part of basketball since 
it covers catching, passing, and dribbling. These three skills are the 
backbone of teamwork. Their development is the most important 
task facing the coach. 

Fumbling and bad passing usually go hand in hand, but loss of the 
ball is not always caused by bad passes. The ball may be fumbled 
because of incorrect use of the hands and fingers in catching. Fight- 
ing the ball (failure to let the fingers "give" as the ball comes into 
the hands), a poor body position, or attempting to catch the ball 
with the heels of the hands are other causes of fumbles. Naturally, 
a high, low, hard, or poorly timed pass may also cause a fumble. 
Emotional elements also enter into passing. Quite often a player 
will lose his temper and make a pass in anger. Some bad passes 
may be caused by carelessness or fatigue. 

In catching the ball, the hands should be relaxed and the fingers 


well spread and pointing up or down, depending upon the height 
of the pass. The fingers and thumbs, with the aid of the palms, 
should be well cupped. The wrists and elbows should be free and 
loose so that the hands can "give" with the ball. Most of the con- 
tact is with the fingertips. Many players make the mistake of trying 
to pass the ball before they catch it; they are not concentrating on 
the ball, are failing to watch it until it actually makes contact with 
the hands. The player should meet the ball by advancing and 
reaching toward it. By so doing he reduces somewhat the danger of 
interception and is able to keep his body between the ball and his 

Passing calls for good hands — not necessarily large hands, but 
hands that through drills and practice have developed "feel." 

Accuracy is more important than speed, although a fast pass is 
essential against good opponents. Movement of the ball should be 
fast and constant and all drills should be directed toward this end. 
Slow, deliberate passing and holding up of the movement of the 
ball allow the opponents to concentrate through sagging and float- 
ing against the point of the attack. 

There is no easy way to develop passing skill. Practice and more 
practice and drill after drill, day after day, are necessary. The drills 
should simulate game conditions as nearly as possible. Keep in mind 
that there are different planes or levels in passing, and include these 
in the practices. 

Good passers are accurate passers. The elimination of waste 
motion in receiving or delivering the ball is another earmark of 
passing skill. Good timing is another important element which the 
good passer develops only through constant drilling. 

The best target in passing the ball is probably between the waist 
and the shoulders. A head-high pass causes the receiver to duck 
and takes his eyes away from a possible play opportunity. Some of 
the important factors that go into the making of a good passer are 
as follows: 

Speed. Fast passing is important but "plugging" (throwing the 


ball too hard when in close proximity to the receiver) is dangerous. 
Timing is essential. Usually the speed of the receiver determines 
the speed with which the ball should be forwarded to him. (The 
ball travels about ten times as fast as a player can run so there is 
little need of tremendous force.) 

Judgment. Good passing ability is wasted if the ball is not 
passed at the right time in the right place to the right player. Cer- 
tain passes are good in certain play situations and injudicious in 
others. A tall player would be foolish to use underhand and bounce 
passes (low-plane or low-level) when guarded by a shorter op- 
ponent. The tall player's best passes in this situation would be the 
baseball, hook, and two-hand overhead (high-plane or high-level) 

Deception. Most guards concentrate upon the ball, so the 
passer should employ some sort of deception. He should avoid 
making all his passes on the same plane or level. It is possible to 
watch the opponent and pass over, around, or under his hands. 
Changing the plane or level of the pass will usually assure a safe 
delivery of the ball. In this connection, it is wise to pass to the left 
of right-handed players and to the right of left-handed players. 

Split vision. This is difficult to teach. Some players seem to 
come by the ability naturally. Most players feel that they must look 
directly at their teammates; others go to the opposite extreme — 
they look away and execute disastrous blind passes. The player 
should be impressed with the fact that depth and marginal vision 
will enable him to see his receivers clearly. The player who con- 
tinues to have trouble catching or passing the ball after extensive 
practice should be checked for visual deficiencies. Faulty vision is 
not nearly so important in shooting as it is in catching the ball. 
Players who use peripheral vision and can keep a "poker face" 
before, during, and after a pass have a tremendous passing ad- 

There is a pass for every play situation. Whether or not the play 
will succeed depends upon the position in which the player catches 


the ball and upon his ability to shoot or to pass it on to a team- 
mate. At this point, the type of pass becomes vital. 

Good passers are able to eliminate waste motion. So, in my 
drills, I try to equip the players with passes that will enable them 
to immediately release the ball in the plane or level at which it has 
been received. In my fundamental practices I adapt various passes 
to each drill so that the players will be prepared to release the ball 
quickly and accurately from any position. 


The two-hand chest pass. The chest or "snap" pass can 
probably be regarded as the basic pass in basketball. It usually ac- 
companies the rapid movement of the ball such as is found in the 
give-and-go, weave, roll, and pattern attacks. Although some play- 
ers possess sufficient strength to snap the ball considerable distances, 
the snap is used most efficiently when the distance does not exceed 
20 feet. The hands are placed on the sides of the ball with the 
thumbs and fingers spread to cover as much of the surface as pos- 
sible. The ball is released with a flip or snap of the wrists, elbows, 
and fingers, producing a reverse spinning motion as the thumbs are 
snapped under and through. The best point of release is between 
the hips and the shoulders. 

The two-hand snap pass is easy to teach, adapts itself quickly to 
feinting and faking, and affords maximum protection of the ball. 
Strong wrists and fingers are important to proficiency, and the 
daily use of medicine balls is an excellent strengthening medium. 

The bounce pass. This pass is similar to the snap pass but is 
thrown on a different plane. It is not safe for a great distance and 
must be kept close to the floor. A high bounce pass is slow and 
easy to intercept. The ball should be snapped down and out and 
aimed to hit the floor as close to the teammate as possible. Whether 
the pass is made with one or two hands makes little difference, but 
some sort of a preliminary fake aids in its effectiveness. 


The bounce pass is particularly effective against zone chasers 
and in feeding the ball to a pivot player. The one-hand bounce 
pass is easy to get to the pivot player when it is preceded by a long 
cross-over step with the leg opposite the throwing hand. 

Back-bounce passes are used in the give-and-go attack following 
a dribble, and by post and pivot players in feeding cutters. The 
one- or two-hand back-bounce pass is excellent in setting up a 
screen for a set shot by a teammate or to give him a post around 
which to dribble. A long one-hand bounce pass is also useful in 
feeding a teammate who executes a change-off and drives for the 
basket; it is often effective, too, against the press. 

The overhead pass. The overhead pass is a favorite weapon 
of the pros. It is fast, and its high plane makes it almost impossible 
for the opponent to stop it. The ball should be held high above the 
head and propelled chiefly with the wrists. Pivot and post players 
often use this in connection with the turnaround play, and its use 
as a medium to feed a pivot man near the basket is universal. 

The hook pass. This pass used to be one of the favorite 
passes in the game. It is still one of the best passes with which to 
initiate the fast break following a rebound from the defensive 
board. It is effective in feeding the pivot and is a fine pass to use 
when closely pressed by an opponent. Most tall players are expert 
in the use of this pass. 

The hook pass can be made from the floor or while in the air. 
As with all passes, it is best to start it from a crouch. A slight turn 
of the body accompanied by a forward step is important in stressing 
accuracy. The step and the half turn also aid in confusing the de- 
fensive opponent and in protecting the ball. The ball is held with 
the fingers widely spread; and if it cannot be held with the fingers 
alone, it may be rested against the wrist and forearm. The arm 
must be fully extended before the ball is released from the finger- 

The baseball pass. This pass is a "must" when speed and 
distance must be combined. It is an excellent outlet pass in the fast 
break, and all rebounders should be expert in its use. Strangely 


enough, most basketball players find this a difficult pass to control. 
Timing and the elimination of a curve are important. 

The ball should be released with an elbow and wrist and finger 
action similar to the technique employed by a baseball catcher in 
throwing to second base. The ball is brought quickly behind the 
ear and released on a high plane. The thrower must follow through 
to insure absolute accuracy since the ball oftentimes soars out of 

Back-flip passes. These passes, made with one or two hands, 
are important in almost every type of offense. Proper use requires 
much practice since the passer is facing away from the receiver. 
The ball is released from the fingertips and the follow-through is 
exaggerated for purposes of control. The one- and two-hand flips 
may be made around the back, over the shoulder, or straight back 
beside the hip. The around-the-back pass is not a trick pass. It is 
used by many sound players when they are so closely guarded they 
cannot shoot or make an ordinary pass. A teammate may be ap- 
proaching on the other side of the guard entirely free, and an 
around-the-back flip or bounce pass may lead to a score. Further, 
when the player is closely pressed, the around-the-back pass may 
eliminate a held ball. Here, as with the hook pass, the fingers must 
be widely spread and the ball may be supported by the wrist and 

The forward flip (bowling pass). This pass is very quick 
and the ball may be released almost as soon as it is caught. The 
pass is made with one or two hands and is thrown or flipped on a 
low plane from the fingertips. 

Cross-face and cross-body passes. These passes are fast 
and are vital to a good passing team. They are thrown from the 
fingertips while the player is moving at full speed and are im- 
portant because of that fact. Some players develop such fine dex- 
terity with these passes that the hands seem to barely touch or slap 
the ball in guiding it to a teammate. 

The lob pass. This pass is used when it is necessary to give a 
cutter time to reach the ball (a long lead). Some players use a lob 


pass when an opponent is playing in front of the pivot player. It is 
usually released like a two-hand set shot and is executed softly and 
with a minimum of spin. 

The jump pass. This pass should be used only when the 
passer's receiver is free and it is necessary to leap in the air in order 
to get the ball away. An exception may be noted here in the case 
of tall players who use the pass effectively following a defensive re- 
bound, getting it into play by passing while they are in the air. 

The fake-shot pass. This is an extremely deceptive pass. It 
is effectively used when a teammate's guard switches to stop the 
apparent shot or when a teammate's opponent leaves his defensive 
position to block out or retrieve the expected rebound. This pass is 
often made from the air following a fake jump shot. The two-hand 
set shot often lends itself to this type of pass. 



Keep two hands on the ball so that you can shoot, dribble, or 
pass. Maintain good body balance and be a threat. Never bounce 
the ball to gain thinking time. 


Use fingertip control and a strong wrist snap, and be sure to 
follow through on all passes. 


Keep in mind that the passer is responsible for the success of 
the pass (and for interceptions by opponents). 

Know your teammates' voices and be ready to pass to them if 
they are free. 


Meet the ball and make no waste motions in changing the plane 
of your following pass. 


Don't "telegraph" your passes (maintain a poker face and focus 
your eyes ahead so you can use peripheral vision). 



Don't use "blind" passes (looking one way and passing in the 
opposite direction). 


Vary your passes and utilize all passing planes. Master feints 
and fake passes. 


Don't hold up the ball. Keep it moving and keep cutting. 

■~-}- Don't force passes, and never use fancy passes. 

The pass and your cut should be simultaneous (give-and-go). 


Concentrate on "leading" the cutter and be sure that he receives 
the ball in the proper plane (shooters should be given a high 
pass when possible). 


"T" Watch your teammate's opponent and pass away from him (par- 
ticularly when feeding the pivot player near the basket). 


-4- Eliminate low passes when possible (they are difficult to handle). 
Long passes should be head-high or higher. 


Pass under big men (bounce passes and fast underhand flips) and 
over small men (baseball, hook, two-hand overhead). 


Be careful in using lob passes (they are easily intercepted). 

Never pass to a teammate's back or when he cannot see the ball. 


Never pass the ball across-court in front of the opponents' basket. 
Be extremely careful in passing the ball laterally across the court 
at any time. 

The Bounce Pass 

The passer holds the ball as in the chest pass, between the belt 
and the chest, with the fingers well spread on the ball. He looks 
straight ahead, deadpan, and snaps the ball down and out. (Note 
the position of the hands and fingers at the finish.) 



The Overhead Pass 

The ball is held in the same standard position and is lifted above 
the head. It is propelled forward at a high level with a forward and 
outward motion. (Note the position of the hands at the finish.) 





The Hook Pass 

The hook pass is best used when the player is facing forward 

: :&- ;: 



•1 >& 

and propels the ball sideways. In this case, the player is facing 
forward and is attempting a forward hook (a difficult pass). (Note 
the wide back arc and the finish of the hand. ) 

The Baseball Pass 

The ball should be brought up beside the ear and thrown like a 
catcher's peg. (Note the finish of the throwing hand.) 





The Back-Flip Pass 

These back-flip passes may be made with one or two hands. 
Here, the player has faked forward and then snapped the ball back 
with one hand. The left hand is used for protection, as the right 
executes the pass. 


Back-Bounce Pass 

The player starts a forward dribble. On the rise of the first 
bounce the ball is bounced back with the right hand. The passer 
holds his position without moving in case the receiver wishes to 
use him for a shooting screen or as a post around which to dribble. 



Over-Shoulder Pass 




The passer again starts 
a dribble. This time he 
retrieves the ball with 
two hands and flips it 
back over his shoulder. 
This is the best back 
pass to use when you are 
setting up the receiver 
for a one- or two-hand 

One-Hand Cross-Over Bounce Pass 



<W M 



This is an excellent pass to use to feed a post or pivot player who 
has secured a good position. The passer here crosses his left leg 
in front of his right to protect the ball and then passes under his 
extended left arm. (Note the spread of the fingers.) 



The starting point for the development of offensive footwork is 
in good body balance with the center of gravity slightly forward. 
The knees must be maintained in a slightly bent position and the 
heels should be lifted slightly from the floor. The feet should be 
spread approximately the width of the player's shoulders with one 
ahead of the other in a stance somewhat like that used by present- 
day football players. 

After this start, the player should learn to stop without a jump 
or a hop. This is difficult to teach, but since it is a vital part of foot- 
work, the coach should spend considerable time in drilling the 
players to stop with one foot or the other in an advanced position. 
The player then brings the rear foot forward as close to the floor 
as possible so that there is a decided squeal of the shoes on the 
floor. The body should be in a crouched position with the knees 
bent and flexible. 

In my opinion, the use of the head and shoulders is the secret in 
teaching the pivot. Drilling the squad by advancing first with one 
foot extended and then swinging the other forward or to the rear, 
on command, with a good head-and-shoulder turn will help in 
teaching this important skill. After the members of the squad have 
been taught the stop and the forward and rear pivot, I like to pair 
up the players in a "one-on-one" drill. The player in possession of 
the ball uses the stop and the various turns and pivots to protect it 
from the defensive player. Placing a premium on possession will 
bring out the best qualities of the paired players. 


Execution of the pivot and a reverse cut is shown here. Advanc- 
ing from the side of the court, the cutter throws a hard cut with 
the left foot advanced. Then, using his right foot as the pivot, he 
reverses and cuts for the basket. (Note the readiness of the hands 
as the cutter drives for the basket. ) 






The change-of-direction is well executed here. The cutter starts 
to his left, stabbing his left foot hard into the floor. He shoves off 
with this foot (left) and brings his right foot forward and to the 
right. (Note that this is a short step.) The left follows the right in a 
long, cross-over stride. 










& f 

Fake Left Drive Right 

The dribbler fakes left 
with a movement of the 
ball and his left foot in 
that direction. Then he 
stabs the left foot hard and 
uses a cross-over to the 
right with the same leg to 
protect the ball as he drib- 
bles to the right. (Note 
the lowered left shoulder 
and the position of the 
body over the ball.) 












. > 

Double Fake 

The dribbler first fakes right by bringing the ball and left leg 
across in front of the defensive player. He then shoves hard with 
the left foot to push his body back to the left. The stride back to 
the left with the left foot is short but strong enough to give him a 
push back to the right. The cross-over with the right foot is used to 
protect the ball on the drive to the basket. 



"«% i 





1 I 


Fake Right Go Right 

The dribbler here fakes a drive to the right by a cross-over with 
his left foot and a fake of the ball. He then stops and throws his 
head and shoulders back, feinting a drive to the left. Almost im- 
mediately, he pushes off, first with the right foot and then hard 
with the left as he drives for the basket. (Note the body position 
and the protection of the ball.) 



Not too many years ago the value of the dribble was a moot 
question. Today all players and all teams consider the dribble im- 
portant and it is used in varying degrees in all styles of play. Drib- 
bling now has advanced to the stage where it is second nature to 
players and is used as freely as the pass. Naturally, a player can 
dribble too much. Most of the attention in basketball is centered 
around the ball and many players take advantage of the fact to 
attract attention to themselves. Some players get into the habit 
of bouncing the ball every time they receive it, thus slowing up the 
offense and ruining their own chances of advancing with the aid 
of the dribble. 

Moving the ball through passing is much more rapid and effec- 
tive than by means of the dribble. Players should be taught that the 
dribble has its place only in certain aspects of the game such as in 
the slow advance from the rear court; in the fast break; when a pass 
is impossible or dangerous; in driving for the basket when the 
dribbler has a clear path; in freezing the ball or in the stall attack; 
in meeting the press; in dribbling out of trouble; and in evading 
an overaggressive guard. 

Players now are expected to dribble equally well with the right 
and left hands and to shield the ball with the body and the leg 
away from their opponents. The good dribbler has been trained to 
keep his hand hovering over the ball and to keep it bouncing below 
the knee for control and just below belt height when he desires 
speed. The hands with the hovering fingers ride with the ball in- 
suring control. The dribbler also keeps his head up so that he can 
see his teammates and opponents in front and to each side. 

A good dribbler is a master of the fake in one direction followed 
by a drive in the opposite. Thus, he can fake right and go left, and 
vice versa. Double fakes are those in which the dribbler fakes 
right, left, and goes right, or vice versa. Another good fake might 
be termed the "hesitation." In this maneuver, the dribbler fakes in 


a direction, hesitates, and then he continues in the same direction. 

Most high scorers are experts with a forward foot-and-ball fake 
followed by a long backward step. This action provides time for a 
one- or two-hand set, or a jump shot. 

The "trap" (bringing the hand down to meet the ball on the 
"up" bounce, thus trapping the ball and forcing it back to the 
floor) is a necessary weapon of the expert dribbler. This move 
changes the height of the bounce and thwarts efforts of the opponent 
to intercept the ball. This control is absolutely necessary when the 
dribbler is opposed by a hustling, aggressive ball hawk. 

Following the trap, expert dribblers often use "double-time" by 
keeping the dribbling hand at the low level and continuing to force 
the ball to take short bounces until it fairly beats a tattoo on the 
floor. This is a precautionary measure and should be discontinued 
as soon as the emergency is overcome. 

A change of direction while dribbling the ball requires good 
footwork and expert hand action. This change-over is dangerous 
because of the brief interval during which the ball passes directly 
in front of the defensive player. This interval occurs while the ball 
is being shifted from one hand to the other. The dribbler should 
fake a hard dribble in one direction, stab the foot farthest from the 
ball hard against the floor, and then execute a simultaneous cross- 
over with ball and leg. This results in the change of direction and 
transfers the ball to the control of the opposite hand. Some players 
accomplish the same result by snapping the ball under the near leg 
and to the opposite hand while traveling at high speed. 

The reverse dribble is important when the dribbler is suddenly 
met by a charging defensive player. It enables the dribbler to throw 
a stop and, with the use of the trap, check the forward progress of 
the ball. He then uses double-time to retreat. 



Know the place of the dribble in your team's offense. Use it 
judiciously. The pass ranks first in teamplay. 


Do not slap at the ball. Keep your hand close to the ball and 
push it to the floor. 

Don't wait for the coach to teach you to dribble. Work at home 
and at every opportunity to improve your skill. 

Use a belt-high bounce for dribbling speed, and keep the ball 
below knee-level for control and deception. 

Don't be a Fancy Dan. Don't show off with fancy passing and 

The "trap" is used chiefly for protection. But it can also be used 
as a change-of-pace measure. Other change-of-pace methods 
are to slow down or speed up your drive. 

Fake with your head, eyes, and body when dribbling to add to 
the defensive pressure on your man. 


Remember that you can use the dribble to screen for your team- 
mates. And don't forget to give them the ball when they take ad- 
vantage of the screen. Further, be quick to use the dribble to drive 
for a score when a teammate sets up a screen for you behind 
your opponent. 

Don't try to dribble through a mass of players. Stop or pivot 
and get the ball safely to a teammate. 


When advancing to your front court with a slow dribble, be sure 
you are not being closely followed by an opponent who may 


steal the ball. Dribbling on an angle helps in locating possible 


One dictionary defines a fake as an act "to make it appear dif- 
ferent." The same dictionary defines a feint as "a pretense of at- 
tack at one point while really attacking another." In my coaching, 
I like to think of a fake as applying to the feet, hands, and the ball, 
and to consider a feint as a deceptive movement of the eyes, head 
and/ or body. 

An offensive player may fake with his feet with or without the 
ball. Faking with the feet while facing the basket and without the 
ball is limited to sudden stops, change of pace, change of direc- 
tion, and all kinds of turns and pivots. Faking in a back-up posi- 
tion (back to the basket) consists of holding position with a pivot 
foot and stepping in another direction with the other foot to draw 
the opponent off balance so that the attacking player may whirl 
to the actual point of attack. 

Any number of fakes are possible with the hands and the ball 
whether facing the basket or in a back-up position. 

ball-and-foot fake 

Probably one of the best ball-and-foot fakes is one that was de- 
veloped and exploited by Paul Arizin, one of the leading college 
and professional players in the past decade. In this fake, Arizin 
brought the ball down fast to a dribbling position and faked left 
and right. Then he raised the ball slowly and appeared to relax. 
Suddenly, he carried the ball down with lightning speed and drib- 
bled right or left. It was an excellent maneuver and paid big divi- 
dends with many easy baskets. 

■A ^ -■ ■ A: 



f * -n- 



Change of Direction Dribble 



Dribbler fakes left with ball 
and left foot. Right foot holds 
position. The fake left dribble 
is made with the left hand. As 
the ball starts its upward re- 
bound, the -dribbler traps the 
ball with the left hand and flips 
it to the right as the left foot 
crosses over. The right foot 
has not moved. The right foot 
comes up slightly as the right 
hand takes control of the ball 
for the dribble to the basket. 


Player with the ball fakes a set shot and watches to see which 
arm opponent will raise to stop the shot. In this case, the opponent 
raises his left arm and the player with the ball (40) brings the 
ball down following the fake and at the same time crosses over 
with the left foot and drives hard for the basket. (Note the long 
cross-over stride with the left foot and the crouched position of 
the body to protect the ball.) 

Up-and-Under Dribble 




dummy play 

This play is an . important part of offensive basketball; every 
player should be able to use it when he outruns or outmaneuvers 
his opponent. It should be coached until the player performs the 
deception to perfection. The dummy play is employed when an 
offensive player cuts or maneuvers so that his opponent has his 
back to the ball. Then the cutter plays "dummy" by slowing down, 
dropping his arms, and pretending he does not expect the ball. 
The passer then passes the ball to the cutter (usually over the head 
of the defensive player) . 

fake drive and shot 

Driving fakes to set up shot opportunities are designed to get 
the defensive player off balance and force him back to make room 
for the shot. 

fake shot and drive 

The fake shot is designed to draw the defensive player closer 
and to get him to raise up to stop the shot. Then the offensive 
player may drive around him (driving under the defensive player's 
raised arm when possible). 

Many players execute their fakes and feints properly enough 
but they fail to allow time for the defensive player to "fall" for the 
deception. Following the fake or feint too quickly with the actual 
drive or shot may mean that the deception is wasted. Triple fakes 
usually fail because the defensive player has been warned by the 
first move. 



Before the elimination of the center jump following a score, the 
big man was invaluable in getting possession of the ball for his 
team. When this jump was eliminated, it was generally believed 
that the value of the big man had diminished. This was quickly 
disproved; in fact, the big man has become even more important. 
It is not implied here that a taller player will guarantee possession 
in jump-ball situations, but he certainly has the advantage. Natu- 
rally, the big man's importance does not end with the jump ball. 
His rebound value under the offensive and defensive boards can- 
not be overlooked — to say nothing of his scoring, feeding, screen- 
ing, blocking, and general defensive value. 

The number of jump-ball situations in a game varies. However, 
it is pertinent here to say that there are enough to make the dif- 
ference in winning or losing a close game. 

Jump-ball situations' which concern the center occur at the start 
of the game, at the quarter, at the half, and at the beginning of an 
overtime period. The tall center should be able to break even on 
these. However, this is only a part of the problem. Held-ball situa- 
tions occur during the regular play of the game and the participants 
in the particular held-ball situation must do the jumping. Thus, it 
is important that every member of the squad be able to jump and 
do his part in obtaining the ball for his team in the held-ball situ- 

Getting possession of the ball depends upon a number of items 
which are more or less related. First comes the leaping and timing 
ability of the jumper. Then, the leaping ability of his opponent. 
Next, some sort of signal is necessary to indicate the direction of 
the tap and the receiver, the type of tap (long or short), the block- 
ing (if any), and the play. Not the least matter of importance is 
the manner in which the official tosses up the ball. 


Jump- and held-ball plays are discussed and illustrated later in 
this book. The concern at the moment is in developing the jump- 
ing ability of the player. Special exercises such as knee bends, rope 
jumping, tapping the ball up against the backboard again and 
again without permitting it to come to rest in the hands, various 
types of dunking, and other leaping competition will help. Chart- 
ing each player's leap from day to day by means of wall marks 
and charts will insure steady progress. 

Tall players should develop dunking ability. They should be 
able to flip the ball through the hoop with one or two hands (fac- 
ing or with back to the basket) and should master the flip of two 
balls simultaneously through the hoop. (A ball is held in each 
hand and the try is made from a standing position followed by a 
leap and a one-two count for the release of the balls.) To dunk 
accurately and consistently, the player must be able to hold the 
ball in one hand and, with the arm fully extended, use the wrist 
to flip the ball down through the hoop with the fingertips. Smaller 
players who have large hands and possess a good leap often dunk 

The "spread-eagle" drill used in developing rebounding form is 
excellent in developing body control and leaping ability. The player 
leaps high in the air and spreads his legs as far apart as possible. 
At the same time, he extends his arms so that he can touch his 
toes with the fingers of each hand. 



Be sure you have the signal before you move into the jumping 
circle. Do not give the play away by looking at the receiver or 
toward the point to which the ball will be directed. 

Enter the circle swiftly and get set immediately. Then, concen- 
trate on the ball (beware of false movements by your opponent 
or by the official). Do not move or relax your jumping position 



as long as the official is in the toss-up position. Keep your eye on 
the ball until "after" your fingers have directed it to the proper 
receiver at the proper point. 

Remember the height to which the official has tossed the ball for 
a previous jump. Timing is vital, and leaping too early or too 
late means loss of the tap. Plan your leap so that you will leave 
the floor just before the ball reaches its maximum height. 

Light and go! Beat your opponent to the punchl If your tap has 
been successful and a teammate secures the ball, drive immedi- 
ately to a scoring position. If the tap is lost, check your opponent 
and get info a good defensive position. 

Be prepared for a second tap should the first end in a stalemate 
or be deflected. Light quickly and be fully prepared to go get 
the ball for your team. 


The offensive rebounder is handicapped because a defensive op- 
ponent usually has the inside position. However, he does have one 
or two slight advantages such as knowledge of his team's scoring 
plays and his teammates' shooting spots and habits. He should 
make some sort of offensive move just as soon as he senses that 
a teammate is going to attempt a shot. This may enable him to 
drive into a good rebounding position before his guard is aware 
that a shot is going to be attempted. 

When it is impossible to sense the shot and the defensive oppo- 
nent gets a good blocking position, the attacking player should 
drive for a different position in an attempt to slide past a differ- 
ent opponent. The offensive rebounder may sometimes use a spin 
and leg thrust to gain a position beside the defensive player. When 
body contact results because of maneuvering, it may be possible 


to put pressure on the side of the defensive player away from the 
point of attack and follow a sudden release of the pressure by a 
sudden move in the opposite direction. 


Basketball is essentially a game of motion. The ability to start 
quickly, stop suddenly, dodge, change direction, and use a change 
of pace marks the basketball player who is a good cutter. Cutting 
and screening are similar in nature but have different objectives. 
The cutter drives for the basket with the expectation of receiving 
a quick pass for a score. The screener attempts to set a teammate 
free for a cut or a dribble for the basket by screening or blocking 
the teammate's defensive opponent. 

A cutter's ability to start quickly is tremendously important. He 
must maintain alertness of mind and perfect control of the body 
so that it will be well balanced and under such control that the 
player may drive in any direction. Since he has no control over 
the way he will be played by his guard, the cutter must be ready 
to take advantage of any defensive lapse. His body should be 
loosely carried, with the center of gravity slightly forward and 
with his weight evenly distributed on the balls of the feet. 

A good cutter knows how to break, when to break, and where 
to break. Many good players know how, but fall down when it 
comes to the timing. The timing of the cut is important because 
the cutter may reach the point of attack too quickly and find it 
necessary to wait for the pass. That means that his guard will be 
able to catch up with him and may be able to intercept the pass 
and break up the play. Cutting too late may discourage the passer 
and the cutter's effort may be wasted. 

One of the most difficult features to teach is "where" to cut. 
Many players become so absorbed in maneuvering to get the ball 
that they forget that the chief purpose of the cut is to drive toward 
the basket so that a shot may be attempted. I use the "give-and- 


go" continuity (which is illustrated on p. 168) to teach cutting 
and passing skill. It is imperative that the players cut to the basket. 
They should drive down through the lane to and under the basket 
before breaking off and turning toward the corner. If the players 
are not carefully checked, the give-and-go drill soon resolves itself 
into a weave from corner to corner and loses its value as a cutting- 
and-driving drill. 

There is another aspect of cutting that may cause a break in 
team morale. Every player and coach of basketball is aware of the 
letdown a cutter experiences when he executes a beautiful play 
and gets away from his guard only to have his teammate with the 
ball pass him up. This situation should be discussed with the squad 
and the coach shouf3 explain that passin g up a player who makes 
a good cut will not be toler ated unles sthe~prayefln possession of 
the ball is not in a good passing po sition or is too closely guarded 
t o risk the p ass. 

The coach should also warn cutters not to call for the ball unless 
they are sure they have the advantage over their guard. Many play- 
ers scream for the ball whether they are free or not. The good 
passer will take cognizance of a call for the ball, but, before mak- 
ing the pass, he will be sure that the teammate's defensive oppo- 
nent has really been eluded and is not in a position to intercept 
the ball. 

A good cutter will have his own special bag of tricks in getting 
loose but he should not overlook the importance of taking ad- 
vantage of the positions and movements of his teammates and their 
opponents to get away from his opposing guard. 

There are a great number of cutting movements, and it is im- 
possible to illustrate all of them, but those to be described and 
illustrated here may serve as examples and may be used in teach- 
ing players to cut. Many of these are included in the drill catalog 
found at the back of this book. The starting point, direction, and 
the slant of the cuts shown in the diagrams may vary according to 
the style of play in use. 



The Angle Cut is used following a hard drive along the side- 
line. A change-of-direction turn or a change of pace and another 
hard cut along the baseline follows. These angle cuts are the basis 
for "squaring the corners" in the fast break. 

Chart 1 
Angle Cuts 

1 Right corner angle 

2 Left corner angle 

The Buttonhook can follow a break for the basket; it is used to 
set up a post position outside the three-second lane or in the outer 
half of the free-throw circle. 

Chart 2 
Buttonhook Cuts 

1 Buttonhook right 

2 Buttonhook left 



Corner Loop cuts may follow an attempted guard-around play. 
The cutter may slow down after the initial drive and veer to the 
corner. Then he can simulate a slow start up the sideline and, after 
a quick loop, drive for the basket. 

Chart 3 
Corner Loops 

1 Corner loop right 

2 Corner loop left 

The Cross-court Reverse is used following a hard cut across 
court toward the ball. When he does not receive the ball, the cut- 
ter slows down and starts slowly up the sideline. A teammate may 
fake a pass to him and if his guard lunges forward, the cutter may 
suddenly change direction (change-up) and cut back to the basket 
for a pass and an easy score. This play occurs in practically every 
game and is especially effective against the defensive player who 
is interception-minded. 

Chart 4 
Cross-court Reverse 

2 Cross-court 
Reverse and Change 



Slicing is used when a post man is stationed in the outer half of 
the free-throw circle. It is often called "splitting the post." 

Chart 5 
Slice Cut 

1 Cuts first 

2 Slices behind 1 

S cuts are used extensively in the give-and-go style of play and 
usually follow a pass from the cutter to a backcourt teammate. 

Chart 6 
"5" Cut 

1 Passes to 2 
and executes 
"S" cut 


Scissors cuts are designed to set up plays for men away from 
the ball. 

Chart 7 
Scissors Right 

1 Cuts first 

2 Cuts close behind 1 

3 Side post with ball 

Chart 8 
Scissors Left 

1 Cuts first 

2 Cuts close behind 

3 Side post with ball 



In the Reverse Post the cutter sets up a post position near the 
lane or in the outer half of the free-throw circle following a hard 
cut for the basket. He can slow down as he makes the turn and 
then break suddenly to the post position for blocking purposes or 
to handle the ball. 

Chart 9 
Reverse Post 

1 Reverse post 
(right and left) 

The V cut is used to change direction and cut for the basket. 
Many coaches make use of this principle of cutting away from the 
receiver when their team is freezing the ball. 

Chart 10 
"V" Cut 

1 "V" cut (right 
and left) 



The Under and out cut is used by post men who are working 
from a position on the side of the court. It is similar to the Reverse 
Post cut and can be made laterally across the court or following 
a drive to the basket. 

Chart 11 
Under and Out 

1 Under and out 
(right and left) 



■ — -^ 






The Corner Break-out is used when a corner man drives toward 
the outer half of the free-throw circle to set up a post position. If 
the ball is not passed to him, he whirls suddenly away from the 
ball and then cuts quickly back to a pivot position beside the lane 
for a possible pass. 

Chart 12 
Corner Break-out 

1 Corner break-out 
(right and left) 



Screening is the backbone of modern basketball. All offenses 
use the screen in some manner when setting up their front-court 
attack. The use of screens enables every player to take part in the 
offense whether it is a weave, roll, the give-and-go, a post, pivot, or 
any other style. 

A screen is made by moving in varying degrees of speed behind 
or in front of a defensive opponent in such manner that a team- 
mate may use the movement to get a half-step advantage in break- 
ing for the basket. Contact resulting from a screen is usually caused 
by the screener although, in some cases, the defensive opponent 
may be charged with the foul. 

Screens may be performed with or without the ball. The block 
may accompany screens if it is used according to the rules. A drib- 
ble or post block may be set up behind a defensive player and if 
it is legally set (three feet away from the opponent) and contact 
results, the defensive player is charged with the foul. However, 
the blocker must remain motionless with his arms at his sides up 
to and during the contact or he may be charged with the foul. 
Strict interpretation of the rules requires that the defensive player 
be penalized with the foul should contact result from a block, pro- 
viding that the offensive player has set up the block three feet away 
from the defensive player and does not move. 




An Inside Screen is made when an attacking player moves or 
dribbles between a teammate and the teammate's opponent. When 
the maneuver is executed properly, the screener's guard will move 
behind the other defensive player. An Inside Screen may be made 
at varying degrees of speed. Normally it is executed at half speed 
to enable the teammate to use the screener and his guard as a 
moving screen around which he may cut or dribble for the basket. 

Chart 13 
Inside Screen 

1 Screens between 

2 and his guard B 

An Outside Screen is made when an attacking player moves or 
dribbles behind a teammate's opponent. The screener may move 
swiftly or at a leisurely pace, and the two players provide a mov- 
ing screen around which the teammate may cut or dribble for the 

Chart 14 
Outside Screen 

1 Screens outside 

2 and his guard B 



^K— r 





A Back Screen occurs when an attacking player dribbles or 
moves behind a teammate after driving his own guard behind the 
teammate's guard. The Back Screen is designed to set the two 
guards up in front of the screened player, who may attempt to run 
his personal opponent into the screener's guard. 




Chart 15 
Back Screen 

1 Drives his guard 
A back of guard B 

An Inside Screen Block occurs when a screener or dribbler 
stops in a legal position between his teammate and his teammate's 
opponent. The screener must be sure to hold his block without 

Chart 16 

Inside Screen Block 

1 Screens and stops 
between 2 and his 
guard B 



An Outside Screen Block occurs when a screener or dribbler 
stops directly behind a teammate's opponent. In this case, the 
screener must be sure that he stops three feet from his teammate's 
guard and he must hold his position without motion of body or 

Chart 17 

Outside Screen Block 

1 Screens back of guard 
B and sets a block. He 
must observe the three- 
foot rule 

A Side Post Block occurs when a screener or dribbler stops be- 
side a teammate's opponent to provide an obstacle which his team- 
mate may use to hamper or block his personal guard. 

Chart 18 

Side Post Block 

1 Screens beside guard 
B and sets a block 






A Rear Post Block occurs when a post or pivot player moves 
to a position behind a teammate's opponent and forms an obstacle 
into which the teammate may force his guard. 

Chart 19 

Rear Post Block 

Post player 2 moves to a 
position behind A and 
sets a block 

A Triangle Dribble Block occurs when a post or pivot player 
dribbles to a position so that a teammate may drive around the 
block for the basket. 

Chart 20 

Player 2 dribbles to the 
side and sets a block for 
opponent A 



A Side Dribble Block occurs when a player stationed in the 
backcourt dribbles to a position beside an opposing guard and 
sets up a post around which a teammate may drive for the basket. 

Chart 21 

Side Dribble Block 

1 Dribbles beside guard 
B and sets a block 








A Rear Dribble Block occurs when a backcourt player dribbles 
behind an opponent and sets up a post around which a teammate 
may drive for the basket. 

Chart 22 

Rear Dribble Block 

1 Dribbles behind guard 
B and sets a block 



A Double Block is formed by two teammates who set up a 
shoulder-to-shoulder or staggered screen which may hamper a team- 
mate's guard when he drives for the basket. Many set attacks use 
some form of the Double Block in their category of plays. 

Chart 23 
Double Block 

Offensive players 1 and 
2 move to a position be- 
side the lane and set a 
block for player 3 

The Offensive Roll is used by a screener when his path is 
blocked by an opponent and contact seems imminent. The screener 
rolls back and away from the opponent (pivoting on the left foot 
when screening to the right and pivoting on the right foot when 
screening to the left) so that contact is avoided. 

Chart 24 
Offensive Roll 

Offensive player 1 starts 
a screen for 2 rolls away 
from guard B 

Chart 25 



Shooting ranks close in importance to expert handling of the ball 
(catching, passing, arid dribbling). Many coaches place shooting 
first in importance. That, of course, is a matter of opinion. At any 
rate, all players like to shoot and will spend hours perfecting mas- 
tery of their favorite shot. Thus, in teaching his players to shoot, 
about all the coach has to do is insist upon the observance of cor- 
rect techniques. Many coaches say that they are not interested in 
form as long as the ball goes through the hoop. That philosophy is 
all right for the professional coach who can select players with 
proven shooting accuracy. But the high school and college coach 
must develop marksmanship through the teaching of correct shoot- 
ing principles and techniques. 

Some players possess a natural "eye" and master the various 
shots with little help from the coach. Others must be taught to shoot; 
the marksmanship hints that follow are designed to aid the coach in 
this part of his job. 

Not too many years ago teams relied upon one or two players 
to supply the scoring, and coaches built their offenses around these 
scorers. A good. team-shooting average in those days seldom ex- 
ceeded 30 per cent. Today, all players are expected to be marks- 
men — and, for the most part, they are. The development of the 
one-hand shot and the jump shot has had much to do with the in- 
creased accuracy of modern players. Team averages have now 
jumped as high as 40 per cent. Some modern players boast a shoot- 
ing average as high as 60 per cent. 

Good marksmanship can be taught. Most players are eager to 
improve their accuracy and will cooperate fully with the coach. It 
is his task to drill the players over and over in the correct shooting 
techniques until they become second nature and are executed freely 
and without hesitation. But teaching a boy to be a scorer is a more 
difficult task. Some players are born with an inner drive and a 

Inside Screen 

Player 40 dribbles 
toward his teammate 
32 and then passes him 
the ball. Player 40 con- 
tinues on to execute an 
inside screen between 
player 32 and his op- 


4*= / 



r d 


W' - 


Outside Screen 

1 zR Sw 

Player 40 starts a dribble and then passes to his teammate 32. 
Continuing on, player 40 cuts behind the opponent guarding player 
32. (Note how player 40 makes sure to avoid contact with the de- 
fensive players so that he will not be called for charging.) 










•? * i 


^r ? 




V.. 4 

^ rXe 




Player 40 snaps the ball to 
his teammate 32 and cuts be- 
hind him. Player 32 gives the 
ball back to 40 and cuts for 
the basket. He could hold posi- 
tion to afford a set shot for 40 
if he wished. Since he has cut, 
he expects a return pass. In 
the illustration, player 32 
should have cut further to his 
left and in front of defensive 
player 11. This might have 
caused a slight bit of confusion 
between the defensive players, 
forcing a switch or enabling 32 
to gain a half-step advantage 
on his personal guard. 








Screen Play 


<te W 


I # 

r 1 / > T- 

Player 40 dribbles to a posi- 
tion three feet behind the op- 
ponent of his teammate 32. 
Player 32 fakes left with a foot- 
step and then changes direc- 
tion and cuts to the right of 
the screening player 40. Note 
that 40 holds his screening 
position without moving after 
the pass to player 32. 


fierce confidence in their ability to get points. These players are the 
potential scorers whom every coach is seeking and, if he is blessed 
with several of them, he is in business. 

Basketball is a game in which handling and shooting the ball de- 
pend for control and accuracy upon the wrists and fingertips. In 
these skills the ball should not touch the palms or heels of the 
hands. The coordination of the elbows, wrists, and fingers with the 
carriage of the body will result in the loose, flowing motion that in- 
sures control and accuracy in shooting or handling the ball. 

Some players shoot best from certain positions on the floor. If 
the planned offense permits, these players should be used in the 
continuity or system so that their shooting opportunities occur 
when they reach their favorite positions. 

The shooting chart shown on the opposite page may be used to 
determine the type of shot to be used in certain front-court areas. 

marksmanship principles 

Basketball shots may be classified according to the direction in 
which the marksman is facing when he tries for the goal. If he is 
facing the basket with shoulders and feet squared toward the hoop, 
it may be called a facing shot. If his back is turned to the basket 
it may be called a back-up shot. If he is facing or cutting toward 
the right or left corner when he attempts a shot, it may be called a 
diagonal shot. 

No matter what the facing, the shooter should always try to 
bring his body — head, shoulders, hips, and feet — around toward 
the basket as the ball is released. 

As a hunter aims a gun, so should the player aim the basketball. 
And, just as the hunter focuses his eye on the target, so should the 
basketball player focus and keep his eye on the rim of the basket. 
The target is usually the center of the front rim. However, some 
shooters shoot for the space within the rim (visible from any part of 
the front court) or aim on the back rim of the basket. I prefer that 
the shooter bisect the front rim and concentrate on this spot before, 
during, and after the shot. 


Chart 25 


Area 1. Ball is banked from Backboard in this area. Pivot Turn 
Shots, Hook Shots, Step- Away Shots, All Lay-up Shots. 

Area 2. One-hand Set Shots, Two-hand Set Shots, Jump Shots, 
Two-hand Overhead Shots, Hook Shots. 

Area 3. One-hand Set Shots, Two-hand Set Shots, Jump Shots. 

Area 4. Two-hand Set Shots only. 

Area 5. Long Two-hand Set Shot by expert marksman only. 

Area 6. Two-hand Desperation Set Shot. 

Area 7. Shots not necessary from this area except in last second. 



The ball should be released from the fingertips; a desirable re- 
verse spin accompanies this release. Just as a pitcher calls on his 
fast ball for a control pitch, so should the basketball player employ 
the spin for accuracy. This spinning motion is a natural spin. In the 
one-hand shot it is imparted through the downward flip of the 
fingers because of a complete forward flip of the hand from the 

The spin in the two-hand overhand shot occurs because the fingers 
are flipped up and out while the thumbs are directed downward by 
an outward turn of the wrists. The thumb action here is the domi- 
nant factor. In the two-hand underhand shots (free-throw and 
lay-up and pivot player's underhand sweep) the spin occurs be- 
cause the fingers and thumbs are flipped forward and up by a lift- 
ing motion of the wrists. Some players shoot a dead ball (no 
spin) with some success, but the great majority of high-scoring 
marksmen use a natural spin. 

A good follow-through is important in any skill, and particularly 
in shooting a basketball. The completion of the shot should find the 
arm or arms fully extended toward the basket with the eyes still 
concentrated on the target. Although it may not seem important 
to maintain this concentration of the eyes on the rim of the basket, 
lifting the head to watch the flight of the ball pulls the shoulders 
back and lifts the arm or arms up and back, thus checking the 
most important part of the follow-through. Players will readily 
recognize this fact after a few trials. 

Some years ago, certain coaches advocated use of the backboard 
on all shots, supporting this recommendation with the statement 
that if the shot was unsuccessful a deep rebound would result, en- 
abling the shooting team to regain the ball. This principle died a 
natural death. The outstanding shooters today are "clean" shooters 
(they eliminate the use of the backboard) except when under or 
near the basket. A few exceptionally tall players shoot all their 
shots clean, regardless of proximity to the basket. 

Use of the backboard is recommended for driving lay-up shots 


(overhand and underhand), hook shots, one- and two-hand sets and 
"jumpers" when the shooter is in the backboard area shown by 
Chart 25. The angle from which the shot is taken will determine 
the spot on the backboard to which the ball should be directed. In 
making a bank shot, the shooter must determine the angle necessary 
for a successful rebound and then concentrate on the apex of the 
angle or the spot on the backboard, keeping his eyes focused on the 
spot until the ball has hit the target. 

The use of spin is discouraged in the backboard shot unless the 
shooter is out of position and must make up for a poor angle by 
imparting carry (side rotation) or kill (reverse) spin to the ball. 
In placing the ball against the backboard the shooter should use a 
high jump rather than a broad jump. Use of a broad jump means a 
hard rebound angle for a successful shot. Use of a high jump en- 
ables the shooter to place the ball gently against the backboard 
from a higher plane. 

The smack of the feet on the floor in a "one-two" count is an 
important part of the lay-up shot. Naturally, from the right side of 
the basket, the one-two is executed with the right foot contacting 
the floor on the "one" count and the left foot landing on the "two" 
count so that the shot is correctly attempted with the right hand as 
the left foot leaves the floor. 

When the player is driving to the basket from the left side of the 
court, the "one" count is made by the left foot striking the floor, 
and the "two" count is made by the right foot as the shot is at- 
tempted with the left hand. Chart 26 gives some idea of angles and 
banking spots on the backboard. 


Good scorers possess the knack of getting good shooting posi- 
tions. And, unless they are pivot or post players, they usually man- 
age to secure good facing positions before they release the ball for 
a shot. 



Backboard Angles and Banking Spots 

True angles will not result in successful basket rebounds. Actual 
angle rebounds (approximate) of the ball are shown by the straight 
lines. The lines with arrows indicate the shooting lines which will 
result in a rebound into the basket. The wider angle is necessary 
because there is considerable "kill" when the ball hits the back- 
board. This "kill" reduces the angle. Players usually compensate 
for "kill" by overshooting because they have learned after hundreds 
of shots that the wider angle results in the actual score. 

Chart 26 


right-hand lay-up shot 

The lay-up shot is undoubtedly the most important action shot 
since it is closest to the basket and is, or should be, the easiest to 
make. Further, the fast break together with a good passing attack 
is designed to free players for the good or easy shot. When ap- 
proaching the basket from the right side of the court, the player 
attempting a lay-up shot should adjust his stride so that his feet 
smack the floor in a one-two count as he takes off for the shot. 
Since the shot will be made with the right hand, the left foot 
lands on the "two" count. The driving one-two should carry the 
shooter under the basket and he should attempt to leap as high in 
the air as possible from the left foot. 

As the player springs upward, the ball is released from the 
fingertips of the right hand with the palm facing the basket. The 
ball should be laid lightly on the angle spot without intentional 
spin. Many players twist the hand as the ball leaves the fingers im- 
parting a "carry" or "english" spin which is unnecessary. 

Some coaches teach their players to lengthen the last stride as 
the shot is attempted. If the player can do this without employing 
a broad jump instead of a high jump it is all right. Otherwise, the 
regular driving stride is best. The shooter should carry the ball as 
high as possible before laying it against the backboard. 

When approaching the basket from the left side of the court, the 
player should make the lay-up with the left hand. The one-two 
count will be reversed on the left side of the basket and the ball will 
be released just after the right foot leaves the floor on the "two" 

down-the-middle lay-up shot 

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. It 
follows that the player who succeeds in making an interception or 


in gaining the lead on the opponents in a fast break down the 
center of the court should stick to the straight line. This will bring 
him toward the basket directly in front of the hoop. The shooter 
should focus his eyes on a target spot on the backboard and lift 
the ball over the front rim with his best shooting hand. The ball 
should be aimed at the target spot on the backboard and released 
with a slight downward "drag" of the fingertips. 

If the player cannot master this shot (many short players find 
it difficult) he should swerve slightly left or right so that he can 
use his best shooting hand to lay the ball against the backboard 
from the side of the basket. 

two-hand underhand lay-up shot 

This is the oldest shot in the game, but it has lost much of its 
popularity because of the development of the one-hand overhead 
lay-up. However, many players still use it when they are closely 
pursued by an opponent since the ball can be shielded with the 
body. The ball is carried up with two hands and is laid against 
the backboard from the usual one-two take-off. If the player is right- 
handed he will usually take off from the left foot on the "two" 
count, and vice versa if he is left-handed. The ball is carried for- 
ward and upward and is released from the fingers with the arms 
fully extended. 

Some players utilize this shot when driving down the center of 
the free-throw lane to a point directly in front of the basket. The 
shot may be banked or played clean and the body is carried through 
the air in a long "hesitation" leap following the usual one-two 
count. The arms lift the ball upward and forward and it is re- 
leased with reverse spin from the fingertips. 

one-hand underhand lay-up shot 

The one-hand underhand lay-up shot is similar to the two-hand 
underhand. However, it permits more freedom owing to the greater 


reach and a more complete follow-through. The take-off is the 
same as for the one-hand overhand lay-up. 

two-hand overhead lay-up shot 

This shot is used by tall players who receive a high pass when 
they have cut close to the basket and have little time to do more 
than leap in the air. The ball barely comes to rest in the hands be- 
fore it is placed against the backboard or dropped over the rim. It 
is highly effective when the passer has utilized a fake shot pass to 
trick the shooter's opponent into turning toward the basket to get 
position for the rebound. 

twisting lay-up shot 

This shot is used by a player when he is closely played and can 
only get the lay-up away by turning or twisting so that his body is 
between the ball and the opponent. The shooter may use one hand 
or two hands for this shot and it may be made underhand or over- 

under-basket buttonhook shot 

This shot is made when a dribbler is forced under the basket or 
is too closely guarded to attempt a lay-up. He continues on around 
and under the backboard to the other side of the basket and "but- 
tonhooks" toward the court. The ball is laid up against the back- 
board with a one-hand overhand shot. Naturally, the player may 
use a straight overhead sweep, or he may stop and use the jump- 
push shot, or he may attempt a half -hook shot. 

running one-hand shot 

The running one-hand shot is, as the name implies, a shot at- 


tempted while in motion. It is a facing shot and is usually taken 
when the shooter's path to the basket is blocked. As the player 
takes off on the one-two count, he lifts the knee on the side from 
which he is shooting. The knee is drawn up waist-high as the 
player releases the ball from the fingertips of his fully extended 
arm. If it is taken from a position in front of the basket, it should 
be a clean shot. If it is attempted within the banking area shown 
in Chart 25, it should be banked against the backboard. 

one-hand set shot 

The one-hand set shot is an excellent scoring weapon after a hard 
drive and a quick stop. The best results will probably be achieved 
by throwing a hard stop and then pulling the advanced foot back to 
gain body balance. This will transfer the weight to the forward 
foot. The right-handed player should throw his stop with the left 
foot in the advanced position. When the stop is thrown, the weight 
will be well forward but can be brought back under control by pull- 
ing the left foot back as a steadying factor. This movement will 
result in transferring the weight to the forward or shooting foot, 
which should be pointing directly toward the basket. 

The ball is brought up and back over the shoulder to eye level. 
A slight jiggle of the ball as the player eyes the target will loosen 
the forearm, wrist, and fingers, and the snap of the knees forcing 
the body up on the toes is coordinated with the full extension of 
the shooting arm. The ball is released with the fingertips; the 
follow-through leaves the back of the hand pointing toward the 
basket with the fingers extending downward toward the floor. 

one-hand overhead shot 

This shot is made in the same manner as the one-hand set shot 
with the exception that the ball is carried above the head and the 
arm is fully extended before the shot. The ball is usually supported 


by the left hand, the release for the shot being accomplished by a 
shoving motion of the nearly straight arm. A slight elbow bend ac- 
companied by a wrist flip, which forces the fingers to release the 
ball and follow through, completes the shot. Naturally, the target 
is the bisected front rim and the eyes should remain focused on 
this spot. 

the two-hand set shot 

The two-hand set shot is, as the name implies, a time shot. If 
the player does not have time to get the ball away, he should forget 
the shot and get rid of the ball. 

In making the two-hand set shot, the body is slightly crouched 
with the weight on the balls of the feet. The ball is held loosely in 
the tips of the fingers (avoid pressure by the thumbs) with the 
elbows carried close to the sides of the body. The ball is carried 
to eye level and aimed like a gun at the center point of the front 
rim. A slight jiggle of the ball should be made as it is brought up 
to the aim position (eye level). 

When the player is ready to shoot, the ball is dropped slightly 
to unlock the wrists and the body drops slightly toward the floor as 
the knees lower for the power snap. As the ball starts back up 
from the unlocking, the knees snap back and a slight leap is made 
from the floor. The extension and the straightening of the arms 
propels the ball toward and over the rim in a medium arc. 

The snap of the fingers outward forces the thumbs downward 
and the hands continue to reach after the speeding ball as if to 
continue onward and grasp the front of the basket rim. The eyes 
should not follow the flight of the ball but should remain concen- 
trated on the rim. The shooter should have the feeling that he is 
reaching right up to the rim and dropping the ball down through the 

The feet are separated a little less than the width of the shoulders 
with one foot slightly behind the other before the leap from the 


floor. Some players use a skipping motion in which the rear foot 
lands in front following the leap. 

two-hand overhead set shot 

The two-hand overhead set shot is best executed by tall players. 
Few small players have been successful with this type of set shot 
since it requires considerable wrist and finger strength. Use of the 
arms in a throwing motion means that the player is doing just that: 
throwing, instead of shooting the ball. Further, one of the chief 
advantages of the small player is his proximity to the floor. By 
lifting the ball over the head he is limiting his options. 

The shot is made in exactly the same manner as the two-hand 
overhead set shot. The ball is jiggled by the wrists as it is aimed 
and the release ends with the thumbs extending toward the floor 
and with the fingers reaching toward the basket. The follow-through 
ends with the thumbs extending toward the floor and the hands and 
fingers reaching for the basket. This finish requires that the backs 
of the hands be close together. Most tall players execute this shot 
from a standing position and do not leap from the floor. 

two-hand overhead jump shot 

The two-hand overhead jump shot is made in the same manner 
as the one-hand jumper except that the ball is carried above the 
head instead of over the shoulder. The player's usual shooting hand 
will dominate in the shot. The other hand supports the ball and will 
finish lower in the follow-through, because of the necessity of 
strong wrist action. 

When held evenly with the two hands, the ball is best controlled 
by releasing it with an outward snap. This snap action thrusts the 
thumbs downward; the outstretched hands finish in a back-to-back 


the two-hand pump shot 

This shot is popular with some Western players and is similar 
to the two-hand overhead jump shot. The pump shot is executed 
while the player is in the air; it gets its name from the pumping ac- 
tion of the arms and legs just before the ball is released. The ball 
is carried behind the head as the player leaps in the air. The knees 
are bent so that the feet are brought up behind the upper legs. The 
player holds his body motionless in the air for a brief moment and 
then releases the ball with a forward and upward swing of the arms 
and a downward snap of the legs. 

one-hand jump shot 

The jump shot is the most popular shot in the game. Originally 
developed in the West, it gained popularity in the East and Middle 
West following Hank Luisetti's brilliant scoring demonstrations 
while he was on a tour of these sections of the country as a mem- 
ber of the fine Stanford team. 

Every player uses the jump shot today. Some players use it ex- 
clusively. It is a splendid scoring weapon when used within reason- 
able distance from the basket and, so far, no consistent defense has 
been found to check its effectiveness. 

The shot usually follows a dribble in which the player executes 
a hard stop. The player should bring his feet close together after 
the stop in a jumping position. Here, it is important to note that 
the true jump shot is made straight up from the "stop" position. A 
stop followed by a forward leap with one knee raised is simply 
another form of the running one-hand shot. The sudden stop, fol- 
lowed by a leap high in the air, gives maximum protection and is 
the chief reason no effective defense has been developed. 

As the feet are brought together, the player should crouch in a 
jumping position and, at the same time, rotate the ball so that he 


has it in shooting position with his shooting hand on top of the ball. 
With the leap, the ball should be carried to a position as high over 
the right shoulder as the extended arm will permit. The ball is sup- 
ported by the left hand for a right-hand shot; the left hand should 
force the ball back until the shooting hand is under the ball with 
the palm facing directly upward. The elbow and the wrist snap the 
ball upward and forward and it is released from the fingertips. 

Again, the eyes should concentrate on the rim target to insure 
a complete follow-through. Some players become so adept with this 
shot that they can use a fall-away technique and get the shot off 
even though they are closely guarded. 

tip-in shot 

All ballplayers should practice this "gift" basket. Pivot, post, 
and corner men are usually assigned follow-in duties, and at this 
point the tip-in shot is a demoralizing weapon. Although the ball 
may not be touched while it is on the rim, practice will enable the 
player to master the timing necessary to meet the ball as it leaves the 
rim or the backboard. Some extremely tall players have sufficient 
coordination, timing, and control to play the shot clean, but best 
results are achieved when the ball is tapped back up against the 
backboard at the correct angle. 

Players should first be taught the two-hand tip-in shot to master 
timing and control of the ball. After they have acquired the neces- 
sary timing and good two-hand control, the use of one hand should 
be fairly easy. The ball is met at the height of the leap and the 
hand should "give" slightly to gain control and power. Then the 
ball should be propelled up against the backboard with a slight 
forward snap of the fingers. 

dunking and over-the-rim shots 

As previously discussed, dunking is a must for the tall player. 


Practice of this skill provides splendid jumping and timing practice. 
Some tall players use the dunking or over-the-rim shot in actual 
games but its chief value, for most players, is in the development of 
timing and jumping. 


A pivot or post player is usually stationed with his back to the 
basket so that he may serve as a blocking post and hand-off feeder 
for cutters. The team-value of this player increases greatly when 
he is also a scoring threat. Dutch Dehnert, passing wizard of the 
original Celtics, originated this important feature of the game thirty 
years ago and used it as a passing medium. 

Today the pivot or post player is still used as a "feeder" but he 
has also become a dangerous scorer. A variety of shots have been 
developed, and modern pivot and post players are expected to carry 
their share of the scoring burden. 

straight turn shot under basket 

The straight turn shot is the basic shot for the pivot player who 
favors a shooting position just outside the lane on either side of 
the basket. Best usage of this shot calls for a sudden turn and lift 
of the ball as high as possible before the release. Most pivot men 
lift the opposite arm and elbow as high as possible to provide addi- 
tional protection for the shot. 

The shooter makes a complete turn and, when the ball is re- 
leased, is facing the basket for a quick follow-in. This shot may be 
made from the floor or following a leap in the air. Many players 
precede it by a fake step-away or turn into the lane. 

step-away shot under basket 

This is a standard pivot shot. It may be made with a turn toward 


the basket, as in the straight turn shot, or may be made by use of 
the hook. If a player is able to get the ball close to the basket, a 
fake jump, straight turn, or turn into the lane may precede the 
step-away with good results. Most pivot men use the step-away 
when they are well guarded and find it difficult to get a close-up 
shot away. 

up-and-under shot 

The up-and-under shot makes use of the floor area between the 
basket and the baseline. The player usually fakes a hook, jump, 
step-away, or turn into the lane. Then he dribbles under the basket 
and toward the baseline, emerging on the other side of the basket. 
He may use a buttonhook, a straight turn into the lane, a shot with 
the inside hand, or a jump push shot. 

one-hand jump-twist shot 

This shot resembles the straight turn shot from the side of the 
lane. The player leaps directly upward from the floor and twists his 
body toward the basket. As he leaps upward, he raises the ball 
above his head and uses a semi-hook shot. It is a specialty shot to 
be used by the tall pivot player; if he can master accuracy he will 
have a fine scoring weapon. 

the hook shot (left and right) 

This almost unstoppable shot should be used near the basket. 
Unless attempted in the backboard shooting area, it should be a 
clean shot released from the fingertips high over the head. The shot 
may be made following a step-away or while cutting across the 
court. The player is facing away from the basket and shoots with 
the hand away from his opponent using his body as a shield. 


The shot is taken from the foot nearest the basket and the leg 
on the side of the shooting hand is raised from the floor as in any 
use of the one-two count. 

The shooter may leap from the floor or take the shot in stride. 
Naturally, the hook shot is more effective when used by a tall player 
and less likely to be blocked. In fact, it is a standard stock-in-trade 
weapon of the tall man. The arm is* held fairly straight with but a 
slight elbow bend and the ball is swept upward in a full arc to a 
position almost directly over the head. The palm should not touch 
the ball in this upward sweep; when the hand reaches its highest 
point the ball is released from the fingertips. 

As the shooter takes his first stride of the one-two prior to the 
lift of the leg on the side of the shooting hand, he should twist his 
head fully so that he can focus on the rim target. This is hard to 
teach because most hook shooters get into the habit of sweeping the 
ball around and over the head and releasing it in the general direc- 
tion of the basket. Some shooters can score consistently in this 
manner but a check of their success usually reveals that they make 
this "blind" hook shot from the same position in the vicinity of the 
basket. The player who depends upon the use of the hook shot from 
any position must first focus his eyes on the target and then release 
the ball. , 

the half-hook shot 

The half -hook shot is used when the pivot shooter secures a good 
position near the basket. He turns in toward the basket as in the 
straight turn shot and then hooks with his body between the ball 
and his opponent. The raised arm and elbow increase the distance 
between the opponent and the ball. The half-hook shot usually fol- 
lows a fake under-and-up drive, or an underhand lay-up. The 
shooter should bear in toward the basket if the opponent attempts 
to ride him out of position. 


two-hand underhand sweep shot 

The underhand sweep is a legitimate shot, although many pivot 
men use it to draw fouls. When preceded by a lift of the head and a 
fake hook or turn shot, it usually comes as a surprise to the op- 
ponent. The ball is swept back toward the basket and up under the 
opponent's arm, accompanied by a turn of the body. The ball is re- 
leased with a flip from the fingertips and the thumbs are thrust up- 
ward to impart a forward spin to the ball. 

one-hand underhand sweep 

The one-hand underhand sweep is similar to the two-hand shot 
except that the player may lift the arm next to the basket and direct 
the ball toward the target-spot on the backboard with his shooting 
hand. This under-the-arm shot often catches the opponent by sur- 
prise. The shot is more deceptive than the two-hand shot but not 
quite as accurate. 


These shots are made while the player is cutting diagonally across 
court under or in front of the basket. The ball is released from the 
fingertips on the regular one-two count with a slight turn of the 
body as the player springs from the foot opposite the shooting hand. 

Though it is an overhand shot, a hook or half -hook is often used. 
Greater accuracy is obtained by an inward turn of the body accom- 
panied by a thrust of the elbow and the shooting hand toward the 

diagonal hook shot 

This shot occurs when the player cuts diagonally in front of the 


basket and is forced to continue his direction by the close guarding 
of his opponent. Some players will use the diagonal hook shot in 
this situation. It is executed in the same manner as any other hook 
shot but the shooter must keep in mind that he is traveling away 
from the basket and is in a poor shooting position. It is a ques- 
tionable shot. 

diagonal stop-jump shot 

As in the diagonal hook shot, the player is in a poor shooting 
position. Even though he may stop and get the jumper away, it is a 
questionable shot since he is facing toward the corner and must 
turn toward the basket. The player should throw a hard stop, gather 
his feet and spin so that his body is facing the basket when he leaps 
to release the ball. Otherwise, the shot is executed exactly as in the 
facing stop-jump shot. A good point to remember here is that the 
ball should be turned to the shooting position before the leap is 
made. The shooting hand should be above and the other hand un- 
derneath to support the ball. 

one-hand jump push shot 

This shot is a favorite with the pivot player who succeeds in 
gaining a good back-up position outside the lane near the basket. 
The shot is banked against the backboard with the inside hand fol- 
lowing a leap in the air. Best results are achieved by looking up at 
the basket over the inside (next-to-the-basket) shoulder and then 
rising on the toes and lifting head and shoulders with a slight up- 
ward movement of the ball to simulate an actual shot. This move- 
ment is followed by the actual shot. 

The ball is held in the fingertips and, on the shot, the hand is 
turned so that the palm faces the backboard. The player accom- 
panies this movement with a leap from the floor and banks the ball 
against the backboard with a reverse flip of the fingers. 



The value of the free throw is recognized by every coach in the 
game. While coaching in high school I taught the underhand 
method. In college coaching I usually allow the players free reign 
since I believe it is too late to change their style. If, however, the 
player's free-throw average is erratic, or if he fails to improve with 
constant practice, I believe in making a change. 

Every player is expected to make at least 50 free throws every 
day. The players shoot fouls during scrimmages and between drills. 
A good feature of any practice is to run the players in the fast 
break or some full-court drill and then, while they are bushed, re- 
quire them to make five free throws. 

two-hand overhand free throw 

The two-hand set shot is favored by many backcourt players who 
use it in their regular floor play. The free-throw technique is ex- 
actly the same as that used from the field except that the skip or 
leap from the floor is eliminated. To make up for the lost jumping- 
power, the knees snap sharply back from their flexed position and 
the ankles extend and raise the player to his toes as the ball is 

The eyes are focused on the bisected rim and continue this con- 
centration before, during, and after the shot. 

two-hand overhead free throw 

Tall players who use this weapon from the field often prefer it 
from the free-throw line because it is added practice in one of their 
specialty shots. The technique is the same as in the two-hand over- 
hand set shot. Since most tall players omit the skip or jump when 
attempting the shot from the field, the same procedure is used from 
the free-throw line. This shot is not recommended for short players. 




Hold the ball loosely in the fingtertips and avoid pressure by 
the thumbs. 


Concentrate on the target before, during, and after the shot. 


Follow through. Lifting the head to watch the ball forces the body 
back and curtails a complete follow-through. 


Spin the ball. A spinning ball indicates control. Control means 
accuracy. Use natural spin (reverse). 


Shoot with confidence. Be sure the shot will be successful. Reach 
way up there and drop the ball through the hoop. 


Be sure you have good body balance before you shoot. Square 
the shoulders, hips, and feet to the basket. Be loose. 

In your practice shooting, get the ball away quickly. But be sure 
you have developed the proper techniques until they are second 


Know the floor positions from which you shoot best and move 
from place to place so that you will immediately know whether 
you should shoot "clean" or use the backboard. 


See your shot before you shoot. Estimate the distance, the arc, 
and the power required. Then, after you have visualized the 
shot— let her gol 


Be a team player. Attempt only good shots. If you are not in a 
good shooting position, if you do not have good body balance 
or do not have time to take a good shot— pass the ball. 






One-Hand Set Shot 

Good form is demonstrated in this use of the one-hand set shot. 
The player carries the ball chin-high and is concentrating on the 
rim. As he lowers his body with the knee bend, the wrists drop 
slightly to unlock. The knees snap back and the ball is brought 
back to the shoulder position. Then, with a slight leap, the ball is 
released. (Note the excellent finish. The arm is fully extended and 
the fingers have f ollowed through an d are pointing down toward the 
floor. ) ~~ 

Two-Hand Set Shot 

The feet are apart with the left foot in advance of the right. The 
player is "aiming" the ball at the basket. As he bends the knees, 
there is a slight drop of the ball to unlock the wrists. The ball is 
brought up and released toward the basket with a slight hop from 
the floor (the distance determines the degree of spring necessary). 
Note the excellent finish with the eyes still focused on the target and 
the hands together with the fingers spread. 




Jump Shot 

HBHBak mm ' ^H 

The player is coming in at full speed. He throws a hard stop and 
gathers his feet for the leap. Note that he has concentrated his eyes 
on the hoop from the very beginning. As the player leaps in the 
air the ball is brought overhead. The left hand pushes the ball back 
and the forward snap of the right wrist and hand propels the ball 
toward the basket. The player has finished with the palm facing the 
basket. The fingers should follow on through from this position 
until they are pointing toward the floor. 


- " 

Hook Shot 

Hook Shot 
(page 128-9) 

The pivot player 41 has received the ball near the lane. He 
fakes a right turn into the lane without moving the feet. Then he 
reverses quickly and slides his left foot along the lane toward the 
basket and takes off for a right-hand hook shot. Note that he has 
protected the ball with his left elbow carried high and that he has 
brought his right knee up high for coordination. 

Jump Push Shot 
(page 132-3) 

The pivot player 41 receives the ball in a good shooting posi- 
tion. He turns to his left and springs straight up from his position. 
The ball is banked against the backboard with the left hand and the 
shot ends with the hand turned left so that the palm faces the back- 
board. This shot will be more successful if a good fake with hand 
and ball is accompanied with a rise to the toes and with a good head 
and eye feint. Following the fake and feint the ball is brought down 
and then the shooter actually goes back up with a full leap and 
banks the ball against the backboard. 

'•5SS' fi \ 

Jump Push Shot 

Slide Along Lane and Jumper 

The pivot player 41 feints right with his shoulder and head and 
then takes a short step toward the basket with his left foot, drop- 
ping the ball to the floor at the same time. As he regains the ball, 
he takes a long stride with his left foot and feints with his eyes and 
head as if to continue on under the basket. Then he executes a hard 
stop, gathers his feet, and leaps high for the right-hand jump shot. 

Drive Under Basket 
From Post 

The post player fakes right with ball and right foot and then 
drives under the basket to the opposite side of the lane. Here, he 
executes an inside (right-hand) lay-up. Note that the shooter 41 
has taken off from his left foot and has raised his right knee high 
on the shot. When a post or pivot player drives across to the op- 
posite side of the lane he can use a great number of shots to score — 
a right-hand buttonhook, a left-hand turn, a turn into the lane fol- 
lowed by a right-hand turn or hook shot, a two-hand overhead 
lay-up, a stop-jumper with the inside (right hand), or a stop-and- 

Pivot Dribble 
Into Lane with 
Jump Shot 

The pivot player executes a foot-and-ball fake to his left and 
then dribbles right into the lane. He throws a hard stop facing the 
basket, gathers his feet, and leaps into the air for a jump shot. 

Underhand Sweep 

The pivot player 41 executes a head feint and a ball fake to his 
right. He turns back to the left and carries his body as though to 
attempt a hook shot. At the last instant he turns in and sweeps the 
ball upward against the backboard with a two-hand underhand 

Player 32 receives the ball just before his right foot strikes the 
floor. He takes a long stride with his left foot and then hesitates 
for the upward leap toward the backboard. The takeoff is properly 
made from the left foot for the right-hand shot. Note that the ball 
is carried high toward the spot on the backboard. Many players 
miss this easy shot because they continue the left-foot stride (shown 
above) with another long stride of the right foot. This means the 
player executes a "broad" jump instead of a "high" jump. 

One-Hand Underhand Lay-Up Shot 

This shot is frowned upon by many coaches since the hand is 
under the basket, and if the player is caught too far under the shot 
may be missed. The player has good body balance in this picture 
taken in an actual game. 

Right Hand Overhand Lay-Up 

In this "game" shot player 40 has executed a fine "high" jump 
and is going to lay the ball against the backboard. The eyes are 
concentrated on a spot on the backboard. 

\\ A 





Left Hand Lay-Up 

Player 40, a natural Rightie, is executing a left-hand lay-up in a 
vital game. Note the concentration and the body control. Also the 
height of the leap. 

One-Hand Jump Shot Hand Technique 

Note the high leap, the protection by the left hand, and the 
height of ball owing to straight right arm. The ball is controlled by 
the fingers (the palm is not touching the ball). 

Follow-Through After One-Hand Jump Shot 

This is a fine photo of the fingertip control and follow-through 
of a one-hand jump shot in an actual game. Form pays off. Always! 

8 o 

O •■-» 


43 S 

ed 43 

13 o 

.& ^ 

00 00 

43 j-J 

of C 

Jh O 

$3 » 



St* &• 

8 £ 

Ou, o 



43 o 

3 t* 




£ -5 




= "o o 

€ £ «* 
< ■ a. 

-c c c 



building a style 
of play 

the two-three 

It is my opinion that the "Two-Three" offense is the best in 
basketball. It is flexible enough in attacking the man-to-man, 
switch, and combination defenses to permit the use of the five-man 
give-and-go weave, the four-man weave with a post or pivot, the 
four-man roll with a post or pivot, the five-man roll, and the Three- 
Two offense. With a little variation, it is versatile enough to meet 
the various zone defenses. 

I believe in equipping the team with a number of offenses so 
that we will be prepared to cope with the straight, loose, tight, sag, 
and floating man-to-man; switching; the man-to-man or zone press; 
and/or the basic zone defenses. 

Position responsibilities in the Two-Three offense are as follows: 
The players in the back line are known as backcourt players and 
are expected to be fine passers, excellent outside shooters, expert 
dribblers, fast-break specialists, and attack organizers (quarter- 
backs). Two of the front-line players are called corner men and 
are stationed in the left and right corners. The third man is known 
as the post or pivot player and works along either side of the free- 
throw lane and /or in the outer half of the free-throw circle. 




Chart 27 


Position Allocations. Players one and two are back-line (back- 
court) players. Player four and Player five are front-line (corner) 
men, and Player three is the third front-line (pivot-post) man. 


The corner players should, preferably, be tall and fast and 
capable of working at the post or pivot position. They should be 
good shots from the corners and sides of the court, masters of the 
jump shot, expert at driving along the baseline or out toward the 
outer half of the free-throw circle, possess strong follow-in ability, 
and be good rebounders. 

The pivot or post man should be a good passer, master of the 
various pivot shots, a good defensive player, and an expert re- 

One of the best methods of selecting players or determining the 
most outstanding is to play one against one. And, in the basic of- 
fense (Two-Three), the value of "one-on-one" play is not over- 
looked. Thousands of clutch games are won each year because a 
particular player on one team is superior to his opponent in one-on- 
one play and the team is smart enough to find it out and take ad- 
vantage of the opportunity. 

Naturally, the use of the one-on-one requires freedom and room 
to work. This means that the pivot or post player must be able to 
work from a corner or, if necessary, from the backcourt. This will 
help to keep the center of the court open and will provide the 
one-on-one player with enough room in which to maneuver. 

Our use of the Two-Three offense is designed to give the players 
a certain amount of freedom yet force them to merge into a cohesive 
unit through a method of circulation that maintains floor balance. 

The backcourt players are responsible for court balance and are 
expected to initiate and set up the plays. They are regarded as 
quarterbacks, although this responsibility will usually be taken over 
by the most aggressive and dominant "sparkplug." The two back- 
court players employ inside, outside, and back screens, give-and-go 
tactics, and dribble screens and blocks. They are responsible for the 
movement of the ball and for offensive as well as defensive balance. 

In moving and handling the ball, the backcourt players are 
joined and supported by the corner men. The corner men are ex- 
pected to come out to the backcourt to supply defensive and court 


balance when a backcourt teammate cuts for the basket. This is one 
of the vital reasons for including them in the four-man weave. 

Big men are effective in setting up post-screens. When a smaller 
teammate cuts around them, a switch may develop. If so, it will pit 
the smaller backcourt player against a taller opponent who may not 
be able to match the cutter's speed. The corner men are expected 
to supplement the post-pivot player in offensive rebounding. 

Development of a tall, strong player for post-pivot duties is im- 
portant. This player is the key man in the Two-Three. He should 
have good footwork, be able to rebound, block, and handle the ball. 
Unless he has obtained a good scoring spot near the basket and a 
teammate in possession of the ball is in a favorable "feeding" posi- 
tion, he should meet all passes, using his legs and body to block his 
opponent away from the ball. The pivot-post man should be able 
to blend in with the give-and-go weave and should be an expert at 
one-on-one play. 

Offensively, it is a coach's responsibility to see that his team is 
equipped for the following game situations: 


To control or steal the tap 

Jump-ball plays 

Out-of-bounds plays 

The fast break 

The single-pivot offense 

The single-post offense 


A spread offense (center kept open) 

Crash the offensive backboard 

Possession of the ball (the stall) 

Freeze the ball 


Meet the press (man-to-man and zone) 
Half-court press 
Full press 


Beat the sag and float 

Attack the man-to-man variations 

Penetrate the zones 


Advancing the ball to the front court is not as simple as it may 
appear. Not infrequently a game is lost or an important basket is 
scored through an interception on the pass-in from out-of-bounds 
under the opponents' basket. Following a score, a player of the 
team that has just scored the basket may play "dummy" and start 
up court. Then, with perfect timing, he will turn and make the 
interception. An easy two points usually follow. This interception 
is usually made because the player taking the ball out of bounds 


makes a hurried or careless pass to a teammate, disregarding the 
nearby opponent. 

Advance opportunities follow interceptions, recovery of loose 
balls, rebounds, held balls, out-of-bounds plays, a scoring shot from 
the field, or following a successful or unsuccessful free throw. 

Surprise defensive moves are the rule rather than the exception 
in basketball as it is played today. Many of these surprise defenses 
are applied before the ball crosses the ten-second line. Today, the 
press or some other form of a forcing defense is used at one time 
or another in practically every game played. 

The advance following an interception, recovery of a loose ball, 
or a "deep" rebound is made so quickly that the opponents usually 
forget everything except speeding for their defensive positions at 
the other end of the court. Under these conditions, use of the press 
or some other form of a forcing defense is impossible. However, fol- 
lowing a free throw, successful or not, an out-of-bounds play, a 
successful shot from the field, jump-ball situations, and most short 
rebounds — some sort of the press is possible. 

If the opponents are behind in the score, such surprise tactics are 
to be expected. Most assuredly the well-coached team should be 
prepared to meet these defensive moves. 

Front-line players often break upcourt to reach their attack posi- 
tions immediately after a score. Quite often, too, they turn their 
backs and leave the backcourt players to bring the ball upcourt as 
best they can. Here, a careless dribbler may fall for an opponent's 
dummy play and a sudden attack may result in loss of the ball. In 
some cases the two backcourt players may pass the ball back and 
forth while advancing upcourt and be unprepared for a sudden 
defensive move. 

The coach must make sure that his team is prepared to meet any 
and all of these surprise moves in the slow advance. Front-line 
players must be coached to advance with their eyes focused on their 
backcourt teammates, prepared to break back toward the ball 
should help be needed. 


The player taking the ball out of bounds following a score should 
always watch nearby opponents and use a fake before releasing the 
ball. Dribblers should protect the ball by dribbling more slowly and 
carefully, making sure that a teammate is near at hand should a 
sudden pass be necessary. If two backcourt players are passing the 
ball back and forth while advancing, they should make sure their 
passes do not take them too close to opponents. 

When scouting notes or bitter game experience warn a team that 
the opponents use these surprise moves, three men may be assigned 
to bring the ball upcourt in the slow advance. These players may 
use screening tactics for the advance, weaving and cutting from 
side to side to protect the ball. 


The fast break is the most important offensive system in basket- 
ball. It is used by practically every coach in the game, and its 
effectiveness is usually determined by the amount of time spent in 
developing and exploring its possibilities. The chief objective is to 
advance the ball into a scoring area before the opponents have a 
chance to get into defensive position. Second in importance is the 
outnumbering of the defensive opponents so that an attacking player 
may secure an unguarded shot. 

Efficient use of the fast break results in numerous easy and quick 
scores which often demoralize a good team. The fast break is color- 
ful, full of sparkling plays, and a sure crowd-pleaser. All players 
enjoy the action because of the speed and dash with which it is 

Some coaches advocate the use of a weave in the break down the 
floor. Others operate on the theory that a straight line is the short- 
est distance between two points and advance their players in straight 
lines. One coach advocates the use of the short pass while others 
feature the long pass. Another coach attempts to eliminate the 
dribble, and still another believes it is the best and safest method 
possible to advance the ball. 


Some teams employ the "press" during the entire game, and it 
may well be said that their offense is a consistent and continuous 
use of the fast break. However, these teams are in the minority; the 
majority of coaches believe in combining use of the fast break with 
a set or formal offense. 

The fast break is a team offense. It lends itself to innumerable 
plays and can be used following every recovery of the ball. I believe 
in a controlled fast break with an emphasis on short passes. If the 
fast break is to be most effective, the 'team must be aggressive and 
prepared to take chances. Since it is important to get down the 
floor as quickly as possible, certain players often break before their 
team gains possession of the ball. In a number of instances a team- 
mate may be in an uncontested position to secure possession of the 
ball and the quick dash downcourt may result in a long, successful 
pass and an easy basket. 

The fast break from a man-to-man defense differs greatly from 
the break from a zone defense. In fact, many coaches feel that the 
positioning of the "chasers" and the "rebounders" and the ease with 
which a fast break may be initiated are the determining factors in 
recommending the use of the zone as the basic defense. Since the 
zone players have assigned areas (even when shifting), the re- 
bounder can easily locate a receiver for his outlet pass. Further, 
use of the zone enables the coach to place good rebounders near 
the basket and the fast cutters in fast-break positions. 

The long pass is the most difficult pass in the game. Some players 
never master the control necessary to use it accurately, and many 
players have difficulty in catching the speeding ball. Further, the 
long, diagonal outlet pass lends itself to more interception oppor- 
tunities than the short pass. A long pass should not be made to a 
teammate unless he is all alone or there is plenty of daylight around 

The dribble is of great value in the fast break because it limits, 
to a certain extent, bad passes and fumble possibilities. In certain 
situations the dribble is the best weapon to use in avoiding intercep- 
tion attempts. In addition, the use of the dribble in the center lane 


after the front court is reached places the ball in the middle of the 
floor and gives the outside-lane cutters more freedom in maneuver- 
ing for good shooting positions. 

In some fast breaks, teammates in the outside lanes wait until 
the receiver of the outlet pass gets the ball before advancing down- 
court. This spreads the breaking players across the court in a 
straight line and, of course, insures better passing. In other usage 
of the fast break the players make every attempt to get ahead of the 
ball. They drive for their basket immediately, filling the closest lane. 
Properly used, this is not a haphazard advance. The man with the 
ball is able to speed the advance since he has receivers ahead to 
whom he can pass. The players out in front of the ball are moving 
in predetermined paths and expect the ball. If they are advancing 
properly, one of the "sweepers" will usually be in a good position to 
receive the pass. 

The following principles are recommended. 


Every player on the defense should be fast-break conscious. He 
should be aware of his rebounding and lane responsibilities 
should a fast-break opportunity present itself, and he should im- 
mediately execute his move. 

Fast breaks develop out of fumbles, interceptions, loose balls, 
backboard rebounds, successful and unsuccessful field and free- 
throw attempts, jump balls, and out-of-bounds situations. Natu- 
rally, the break starts from the point at which the ball is recov- 
ered. The players should be so schooled in the method of advance 
and the techniques of the particular fast break required that they 
react from any of the above situations without the slightest hesi- 

Since the majority of fast breaks develop from rebounds, secur- 
ing the ball is of vital importance. Following a shot, all defen- 


sive players should first get position between their opponents 
and the basket. After a good blocking-out position is obtained, 
the defensive player divides his attention between his opponent 
and the direction of the rebound. When the direction of the re- 
bound has been clearly determined, the player may leave his 
opponent to catch the ball. 

All too frequently, when a shot is taken, a defensive player in 
a good blocking position will turn away from his opponent and 
hazard a guess at the direction of the rebound. Should a deep 
rebound result or should the ball be deflected in another direc- 
tion, his opponent may make the recovery simply because he has 
not been properly blocked away from the basket. 

The rebounder should get the outlet pass away quickly and 
safely. He should then back up the pass in case there is an inter- 
ception or a fumble. 

Filling the fast-break lanes should be initiated as soon as the 
ball is safely in the hands of the rebounder. The players nearest 
the sidelines should fill the outside lanes. They should move 
laterally and in such manner that they can see the ball. Before 
reaching the sidelines they should turn inward and be prepared 
for a pass should the rebounder so elect. 

The player who normally fills the middle lane should be given 
the opportunity. However, if he is the rebounder, or is in a poor 
position, another player should fill the lane and fulfill the neces- 
sary requirements. 

Following the outlet pass, all others should be short and fast. 
The dribble should be eliminated unless the player is caught in 
a poor passing position and must dribble to avoid travelling. In 
some situations the player is forced to dribble because potential 
receivers are covered. The three players in the first wave should 
continue downcourt on straight lines, passing the ball from side 
to side until the front court is reached. By this time, the scoring 
possibilities are evident. A three-on-two or even a three-on-one 
situation may be present. 


As soon as the possible scoring situation is evident, the players 
should maneuver for the open shot. If the player driving down 
the center lane has been able to get the ball as he reaches the 
outer half of the free-throw circle, he should stop just short of 
the free-throw line and prepare to attempt a shot. If a defensive 
opponent attempts to stop the shot, one of the outside-lane 
sweepers will be free for the pass and should have a clear shot. 

Charts 29-32 show, in some part, the use of the fast break from 
certain game situations. Space does not permit presenting all the 
situations from which a fast break originates, but the principles 
used are effective in the great majority of fast-break opportunities. 

The inside rebound area (see Chart 28) is to be filled with the 
expert rebounders when possible. They fill the spaces under the 
basket until they form a triangle. These positions should be ob- 
tained only after they have blocked their opponents away from the 
basket. In this connection, many tall rebounders develop the ability 
to retrieve the ball at the height of their leap, twist in the air, and 
fire an outlet pass accurately before hitting the floor. The hook 
pass is usually employed in this "in-the-air" pass. 

The safety area for rebounders is located just outside the inside 
rebound area and is used only when the rebounder cannot get the 
ball away. He may dribble to this safety area or pass the ball to a 
teammate in the area. Rebounders are frequently guarded so closely 
that they cannot make an immediate outlet pass. In this situation 
the rebounder may whirl suddenly and dribble out of the rebound 
area and downcourt before passing. 

The short-pass area begins at the free-throw line and extends 
three feet beyond the edge of the outer half of the free-throw circle. 
The majority of outlet passes are directed to receivers in this area. 
Some fast-break styles concentrate on a direct pass to a dribbler 
in the outer half of the free-throw circle after every rebound. The 
receiver then dribbles down the center lane while his teammates 



Chart 28 








v * ; 







































<EA \ 



\ FOR 


■ $ ■ 


fill the outside lanes. It is a conservative and highly effective fast 
break and eliminates much of the danger of bad passes, intercep- 
tions, and fumbles found in the passing game. 



Most coaches feel that it is important to fill the area near the 
free-throw line to prevent opponents from obtaining possible deep 

The long-pass area extends from the short-pass area to the ten- 
second line. Long passes should be thrown to teammates in this 
area only when they are completely free. Many outlet-pass inter- 
ceptions occur in this area. 

The cutting lanes extend from the short-pass area to the front- 
court baseline. The inside lane is the most direct to the goal. The 
small star in the center lane is placed near the spot where the 
dribbler or center man should begin to slow down so that he may 
safely stop short of the free-throw line (large star). The right and 
left outside lanes extend to the baseline; teammates in this area 
should not expect the outlet pass unless they are completely free. 

The angles in the front corners of the outside lanes are inserted 
to accentuate the importance of sweeping the corners and approach- 
ing the basket along the baseline (behind the defensive opponents). 

Chart 29 



Chart 29 shows the rebound in operation when a conservative 
fast-break style is used. Players A, B, and C are in the triangle 
formation under the basket. Players D and E have filled the outer 
half of the free-throw circle. When possession of the ball is assured, 
players D and E move laterally to the sidelines, crossing one an- 
other as shown to escape opponents if being pressed. In cutting 
toward the sidelines in this manner they place themselves in safer 
positions to receive a pass from the rebounders, since they are mov- 
ing slightly toward the ball. 

In Chart 29 the ball is being rebounded by player B, who passes 
on the same side to teammate E who is moving toward him. Player 
E dribbles until he is in the clear or until teammate D has reached 
the center lane. Then E passes to D and continues down the left 
lane. Player D may pass immediately to teammate C or dribble to 
get complete control of the ball before passing. Player A follows 
up the center lane as the "trailer." Note that rebounder B has fol- 
lowed the ball after passing to E. 

Chart 30 



The fast break shown in Chart 30 comes off a zone defense with 
the express purpose of getting the ball immediately to the outstand- 
ing dribbler and scorer (player D), who drives down the center of 
the court. A block may or may not be set by teammate E. 

This type of fast break fills the lanes quickly and depends on the 
skill of the expert dribbler to advance the ball into scoring terri- 
tory. The dribbler is always a dead shot from the free-throw line 
where he sets and shoots unless guarded. When guarded, he passes 
to one of the sweepers, or to the trailer. 

Chart 31 


Chart 3 1 shows the closing phase of the fast break. Player D has 
received the ball from teammate C and has slowed down to main- 
tain a control dribble and to draw one of the two opponents out to 
guard him. Player D will stop short of the free-throw line prepared 
to shoot or to pass to sweepers E or C. 

If dribbler D has difficulty in attempting a shot or passing to 
one of the sweepers, he will cut through the lane toward the basket. 
If a pass is made to the right or to the left, the trailer will cut on the 
side away from the receiver of the ball. 

Note that players E and C have continued on under the basket 
and have circled back. This is shown because sweepers often out- 
distance the middle man and should do something to distract the 
opponents. Continuing on under the basket enables them to ex- 
change positions and disturb the defensive players. 

It is important that the center lane be filled by an expert dribbler 
who is also a good shot from the vicinity of the free-throw line. He 
should be a fine passer and able to fake a pass one way and feed 
the ball another. Frequently, he can leap in the air, fake a shot, and 
pass to the unguarded teammate. Bounce passes are, of course, 
imperative in this under-the-basket passing unless a teammate is 
completely free. 

Chart 32 shows the fast break from an unsuccessful free throw. 
(Most unsuccessful free throws rebound to the right. ) Rebounder A 
got the ball. As soon as players B, C, D, and E saw that teammate 
A made the rebound, they broke as shown. 

The takeoff path of player C should force backcourt opponent 5 
to retreat to the defense. The dash down the left outside lane by 
player D should force player 4 to retreat, thus clearing the way for 
player A to make a good outlet pass to teammate B. 

Player E should arrive at the center of the court in the center 
lane in time to receive the ball from teammate B; he can now pass 
or dribble the ball downcourt. Player C often beats the defense back 
and, if clear, may be hit with a long pass. 


Chart 32 

I 1 

The rebounder should pass to a receiver on the same side of the 
court when possible. 

Dribbling to the corner gives opponents time to retreat and set 
up their defense. Get the ball on its way as quickly as possible 
with a pass. 

The pass to a teammate in an outside lane should be aimed at 
the outside shoulder so he may pivot away from an opponent 
who tries to intercept the ball. 


Outside-lane cutters should get going. They should not wait for 
their center-lane teammate. Put the pressure on the opponent. 



All passes except the outlet pass should be short. Don't attempt 
cross-court passes from one outside lane to the other. 


If a cutter advances so far ahead of his teammates that a play 
is impossible, he should drive along the baseline to the other 
side of the court and circle back toward the basket on that side. 

Don't be afraid to yell when you are free. And don't yell when 
you are not free. 


Outside-lane cutters should avoid dribbling unless the teammate 
in the center lane is covered. Get the ball to the middle of the 
court when the front court is reached. 

Keep spread in the drive down the court. Outside-lane sweepers 
must "square" the corners and continue along the baseline to 
the other side of the court if they are "ahead" of the play. 


The middle man should dribble straight for the free-throw line 
and plan to stop there for a shot or a pass to an uncovered team- 
mate. However, he should continue his drive when defensive 
opponents are out of position. 


The give-and-go weave is the basic circulation used in the North 
Carolina University attack. The circulation may start from any 
point in the front court but usually begins as in the blackboard 
diagram shown here. Player 1 passes to teammate 2 and cuts for 
the basket. Note that the cut is made directly down the lane and 
under the basket before player 1 turns for the righthand corner to 

Give-and-Go Weave 


replace player 4. As player 1 cuts for the basket he raises his left 
hand high in the air as a target hand in case teammate 2 wishes to 
return the pass. 

Player 2 may pass immediately to teammate 3 or dribble as 
shown before passing the ball to 3. In the blackboard diagram 
shown here player 2 dribbles and then passes to 3. He then cuts 
directly for the basket, raising his right hand as a target hand should 
player 3 wish to return the pass. When the ball is not returned, 
player 2 drives on under the basket and then turns left to replace 
player 5 in the corner. 

The corner players, 4 and 5, replace the backcourt players and 
take their turns in receiving the ball, passing and cutting down the 
lane to the basket. 

The give-and-go weave is an excellent medium for teaching pass- 
ing, cutting, footwork, and teamwork, and in developing player 
condition. An important part of the give-and-go weave is the teach- 
ing of timing with relation to the execution of passes and player 

Most players like to execute the give-and-go weave at full speed, 
but it may easily be slowed down through the use of the dribble 
and passing up the next receiver. A change of pace in the use of 
this weave may be executed by reversing the direction of the pass. 

The give-and-go weave lends itself to the use of inside and out- 
side screens and, when incorporated with the dribble-block, change- 
ups, and moving posts and pivots, becomes a fine offense. 

The weave can be used to freeze the ball. This will be discussed 
in Chapter 4 under "freezing the ball." 

Charts 33-35 show the use of the weave with inside and out- 
side screens and with a post or a pivot. 

Chart 33 shows use of the inside screen in the give-and-go weave. 
Player 1 passes the ball to teammate 2 and cuts between 2 and de- 
fensive opponent B (inside screen). He then cuts back toward the 
basket and, if he does not receive a return pass, fades right along 
the baseline to the right corner to maintain the continuity and to 
replace player 5. 


Chart 33 

After receiving the ball from teammate 1, player 2 fakes a re- 
turn pass to him and then dribbles laterally across-court. Player 2 
then passes to teammate 3, cuts in front of defensive opponent C 
(inside screen), and cuts for the basket. If he does not receive a 
return pass, he fades left along the baseline to the left corner to 
maintain the continuity and replace player 4. The continuity con- 
tinues in this manner with player 4 and player 5 replacing player 1 
and player 2 and, in turn, using the inside screen and cutting for 
the basket. 

Chart 34 shows use of the outside screen in the give-and-go 
weave. Player 1 passes the ball to teammate 2 and cuts close be- 
hind defensive opponent B (outside screen). He then drives for the 
basket and fades left to the left corner to maintain the continuity 
and to replace teammate 4. 

After receiving the ball from teammate 1, player 2 fakes a re- 
turn pass to him, advances slightly with a dribble, and passes to 
teammate 3. He then cuts close behind defensive opponent C (out- 
side screen) and drives for the basket. If he does not receive a 
return pass from teammate 3, player 2 fades right along the base- 



Chart 34 

line to the right comer to maintain the continuity and to replace 
teammate 5. The continuity continues in this manner with player 4 
and player 5 replacing teammate 1 and teammate 2 and, in turn, 
using the outside screen and cutting for the basket. 

Chart 35 shows the give-and-go weave with a post-pivot. Player 1 
passes to teammate 2 and screens inside or outside. He then cuts 
directly down the lane for the basket and around and in back of 
pivot-player 5. He continues along the baseline to the right corner 
to replace teammate 4. 

After receiving the ball from teammate 1, player 2 dribbles to 
the left, passes to teammate 3, and cuts down the lane to and under 
the basket and along the baseline to the left corner. 

Player 4 has now reached the backcourt. When pivot player 5 
moves out along the lane, player 4 cuts hard around the block set 
by 5 and drives toward the basket expecting a pass from 3. 

If player 3 does not make the pass, pivot player 5 may cut to 
the outer half of the free-throw circle and set up a blocking post or 
else retreat to a pivot position under the basket (side of the lane). 


Chart 35 

Player 1 will have returned to the backcourt by this time and 
the continuity may be continued with player 3 passing to team- 
mate 1 and cutting for the basket. 


I regard the big man as the key player in the Two-Three offense. 
His development or education in the skills that may be utilized in 
the offense is vital to its success. Although the ability to score is 
important, it should not take precedence over the ability to play 
defense (block-out, switch, rebound) and to blend into the offense 
by handling the ball, getting the rebound outlet-pass away, general 
screening, setting up blocking plays, cutting, and following in. 

Defensively, the big man must be able to carry his share of the 
load. Championship teams and championship contenders usually 
feature a big man who presents a defensive problem. The opponents' 
big man must be met on even terms. Your own big man should be 
prepared to play the opposing giant from behind, on the side, or in 



front, and should have the ability to keep up with him in the 
corners or out on the court. 

Naturally, such personal skills as shooting, faking, and feinting 
should be developed to the fullest extent. The fakes must include 
foot fakes and fakes with the hands and with the ball. The feints 
must include use of the head, eyes, and the body. The drill catalog 
concluding this book contains special drills that will assist in teach- 
ing the big man these fundamentals. Special stunts such as pitting 
the big fellow against a smaller man in one-on-one play will help 
in his development. 

Rope skipping, bag punching, shadow boxing, dancing, "tap-in" 
drills, the day-after-day squeezing of a handball, and the use of a 
medicine ball for finger, wrist, and arm development — all are im- 

Special practice in "two-on-two" play is valuable in the develop- 
ment of the big man since here he will learn the vital man-to-man 
defensive moves (front-slide-stay-switch) as well as fast and ac- 
curate passing and cutting. 

The pivot player must learn through actual competition how to 
secure and hold position on his opponent. Many big fellows lack 
the timing sense necessary in obtaining position; they arrive too 
early or too late. Some big men master the timing requirements but 
lack the ability to handle the ball effectively when they receive it. 

Among the most difficult qualities to teach the big man are poise 
and confidence. He must realize that he is the pivot around which 
the offense evolves. As soon as he is aware of this, he should be 
forced to take charge. He should signify by hand or other signals 
when he wants the ball and where he expects it to be thrown. His 
moves must be made with sureness and confidence. 

The ability to pivot away, pivot back, cut under the basket and 
reverse back to the desired position is important in securing a good 
scoring position; this ability is acquired only by long hours of prac- 
tice. The know-how necessary to fake a shot and drive around an 
opponent or to fake a dribble and take the shot, again, comes only 
after hard and patient work, as does the ability to set up blocks, 
posts, and turnaround positions. 



Two of the most important blocks are the dribble-block and the 
"turnaround play." A description of two of the dribble-blocks fol- 

A dribble-block occurs when a player with the ball dribbles to 
a position behind a teammate's opponent and sets himself in a legal 
blocking position (a space of at least three feet). The blocker may 
be facing toward the basket or away from the basket (back-up 

Once the big man has established the block position, he holds 
fast prepared to give the teammate the ball should he succeed in 
maneuvering his opponent into the block. As soon as contact oc- 
curs, the big man uses a hand-off to pass the ball to the cutter. (If 
the big man is facing the basket, he may bounce the ball to his cut- 
ting teammate.) 

If a switch occurs, the big man should have the inside position 
on his teammate's opponent (the player blocked) and a fast cut 
should be made to the basket. 

Chart 36 

In Chart 36 offensive player 1 has dribbled to a position behind 
teammate 2's opponent B. Facing the basket, player 1 holds his 
position protecting the ball and anticipating that teammate 2 will 
maneuver guard B into the block. Player 2 manages to do so and 
then cuts for the basket. Player 1 gives the ball to teammate 2 and 



may cut either to the right or to the left to elude opponent B should 
his personal guard A switch. 

Chart 37 

In Chart 37 post-pivot player 1 has dribbled to a position behind 
the man guarding teammate 2. Facing away from the basket, 
player 1 establishes a legal block (three feet from the opponent) and 
waits for player 2 to maneuver opponent B into the block. Player 2 
fakes right, and then drives left, forcing guard B into the block. 
Blocking player 1 gives the ball to cutter 2. If defensive player A 
switches to guard cutter 2, player 1 will cut either left or right to 
avoid defensive player B, anticipating a return pass. If opponent A 
does not switch to cover the cutter, he (player 2) should have an 
unrestricted shot. 


A turnaround play occurs when a player in possession of the ball 
in the backcourt or near the sideline floats a high pass to a post- 
pivot player. The pass is purposefully made high and short so the 
big man will be forced to advance and leap high in the air to pro- 
tect and catch the ball. As soon as the big man catches the ball, he 
pivots to a position facing the basket, holding the ball as high above 
the head as possible. 



As soon as the big man has pivoted to face the basket, the passer 
maneuvers right or left and then cuts past the block in an attempt 
to get away from his opponent. 

In the meantime, the big man is standing motionless, anticipating 
contact with his teammate's guard. Should contact result, the big 
man's opponent must commit himself either to a switch to cover 
the cutter or to continue his guarding of the big man. If the big 
man's opponent switches, the big man may shoot or dribble into the 
basket for a lay-up. If the big man's opponent does not switch, he 
passes the ball to the cutter for an unrestricted shot. 

Chart 38 

Chart 38 shows the turnaround play. Player 1, with the ball, 
passes to teammate 2. The pass is a high, short pass and player 2 
should leap high in the air to catch the ball at arm's length. As soon 
as he has secured the ball, player 2 pivots to face the basket. (He 
may continue to hold the ball above the head or bring it down to 
a dribbling position.) 

Player 1 now maneuvers his opponent A into the block and cuts 
for the basket. If defensive player B switches to cutter 1, the big 
man 2 may dribble in for a lay-up or shoot from his position. 

Should defensive player B fail to switch, player 2 can pass the 
ball to teammate 1 for an easy shot. 



Chart 39 

In Chart 39 player 1 passes the ball to teammate 2 and uses a 
change-of-direction cut in an attempt to evade his guard. Note that 
player 1 is following the give-and-go weave continuity and will end 
up in the righthand corner and thence back up the right sideline. 

Chart 40 

In Chart 40 player 1 passes to teammate 2 and, after a fake in- 
side screen, cuts behind 2. He hopes to maneuver his guard A into 
a position where he will hesitate in following the cut for the basket. 



Chart 41 

In Chart 41 player 1 passes the ball to teammate 2 and executes 
an inside screen, continuing on to a set-shot position behind 2. 
Player 2 gives player 1 an over-the-shoulder pass or back flip and 
cuts for the basket. 

Chart 42 

In Chart 42 player 1 passes the ball to teammate 2 and fakes an 
inside screen. He then falls behind player 2 and receives the ball. 
Player 2 fakes to the right in an attempt to force his opponent B 
into a block with opponent A and then drives hard for the basket 
with his right hand elevated as a target for a return pass. 



Chart 43 

In Chart 43 player 1 passes to teammate 2 and cuts behind in a 
back screen. Player 2 now fakes a back pass. Player 1 cuts for the 
basket, elevating his left hand as a target for a return pass. Note 
the give-and-go weave continuity as player 1 fades for the right 
corner after he reaches the basket. 

Chart 44 

In Chart 44 player 1 passes the ball to teammate 2 and fakes an 
inside screen. He then cuts behind player 2 in a back screen. 
Player 2 returns the ball to player 1 and cuts toward the basket and 
the left corner, raising his right hand for a target for the return pass. 
The cut toward the corner following the drive for the basket con- 
forms to the continuity of the give-and-go weave. 

f < <A j- tin n y 

Turnaround Play 
(No Switch) 

Offensive player 41 is break- 
ing out for a high, short pass 
from teammate 40 in the back- 
court (not shown in the begin- 
ning of the play). Post-pivot 
player 41 gets the ball and 
pivots into the outside half of 
the free-throw circle. Still hold- 
ing the ball above his head, 
player 41 waits for the block. 
His teammate, player 40, suc- 
ceeds in running his opponent 
into the block and cuts to the 
right for the basket. Defensive 
player 43 does not switch and 
post-pivot player 41 passes to 
teammate 40 for an easy score. 

1 BE' 


Turnaround Play 
(With Switch) 

Offensive player 40 throws 
a high overhead pass to team- 
mate 41 (post-pivot player). 
The big man pivots into outer 
half of the free-throw circle 
and holds the ball high above 
his head. Teammate 40 ma- 
neuvers his opponent into the 
block and cuts to the right 
around the block. This time, 
defensive player 43 switches to 
cover the cutter, offensive 
player 40. The big man 41 has 
a clear shot for the basket and 
is attempting a one-hand set 

*'•;*■ ■>■ 



* # 

"it^t rr~!" 




4 4 


I I - .> juapm 



Turnaround Play 
(With Switch) 

Offensive player 40 again 
passes to the big man 41. The 
post-pivot player pivots in the 
outer half of the free-throw 
circle and again player 40 ma- 
neuvers his opponent into the 
block. Defensive player 43 
again switches and this time 
the big man, pivot player 41, 
dribbles in for a shot at the 




Examples of the two-man plays are shown here on the black- 
board. Two-man plays are unquestionably the backbone of all 
team offenses. They may be executed in the backcourt between the 
two "quarterbacks"; diagonally between a backcourt player and a 
post-pivot player; from the side of the court between a backcourt 
player and a post-pivot player; or from the corner between a corner 
man and the post-pivot player. The plays here are being executed 
in the backcourt, but they may be started from any position. Here 
player 1 starts the plays, but they can as easily be initiated by 
player 2. 

Two-man plays incorporate a number of "give-and-go" plays, 
usually in the backcourt. When these are used, the post-pivot player 
usually blends into the weave or roll or keeps his opponent busy 
from a corner or baseline position. 





"•?■"• ~" - 

' "■ 


; i 

,--' a 

the triangle give-and-go play 



¥> : 

This was the first play in 
basketball and is still effective. 
From this basic play a number 
of screening plays incorporat- 
ing the give-and-go principle 
are used in every game and by 
every team. 

In the photographs repro- 
duced here player 40 initiates 
the play by dribbling toward 
teammate 32. Note that he is 
concentrating on a drive for- 
ward to force his opponent 1 1 
to concentrate on shifting 
quickly to the left. With a push 
of the ball, player 40 now 
changes direction and drives 
from his right foot toward his 
left catching his opponent 11 
off balance. The maneuver 
gains a half-step advantage for 
player 40 and he cuts for the 
basket, raising his left hand as 
a target so that teammate 32 
can give him a return pass and 
complete the triangle. (The 
first side of the triangle was 
the push bounce pass from 
player 40 to teammate 32; the 
second side was the cut exe- 
cuted by player 40 in driving 
toward the basket; and the 
third side is the return pass 
from player 32 to the cutter, 
player 40.) 


Corner-Pivot Plays 

Several variations of corner-pivot plays are shown on the black- 
board here. The play of the big man, player 2, differs here from 
that shown in the charted plays. On the blackboard he is shown 
pivoting away from his teammate in the under-basket situation; in 
the charted plays he is shown rolling or pivoting with his teammate. 
The post-pivot player must be so skilled in lane pivot-play that he 
will automatically use the pivot or roll to get free for a return pass. 



Chart 45 

A simple set-up for a shot by player 2. Note his (2) set right 
and long step back. 

Chart 46 

A simple set-up for a shot by player 1 . 



Chart 47 

A dribble-screen by player 1 to free teammate 2 on a cut for the 
basket. Note raised right hand and continuity cut for left corner. 

Chart 48 

A dribble-trailer play. Player 1 dribbles between teammate 2 and 
his guard (B). Player 2 cuts behind the dribbler. 



Chart 49 

Player 1 passes to teammate 2 and sets up a block behind guard 
B. Player 2 dribbles for the basket. 

Chart 50 

Player 1 passes to teammate 2 and starts a back screen. Player 
2 fakes a dribble to his left and teammate 1 reverses and cuts for 
the basket. Player 2 gives him the ball and player 1 dribbles hard 
for a score. 



Chart 51 

Diagonal two-man play. Player 1 passes to teammate 2 and 
cuts as shown. Teammate 2 may return the pass or dribble around 
the possible block which opponent A may set against opponent B. 

Chart 52 

In this diagonal play, player 1 is attempting to trap his guard 
(A) between teammate 2, his opponent (B) and the side line. 
Again, player 2 may pass or dribble. 

Corner to Post-Pivot play. There are a number of variations to 
the corner-pivot play shown above. The dribble may be incor- 
porated in these two-man plays. Above, player 1 has passed to 
teammate 2 and cuts as shown. Should his opponent (A) be 
blocked, he will receive a handoff from teammate 2. 



Chart 53 

Corner to Post-Pivot play. Player 1 passes to teammate 2 and 
drives for the basket. If player 1 succeeds in trapping his guard 
(A), teammate 2 will return the pass. 


In the Two-Three offense, three-man plays usually center around 
the big man (post-pivot player). Three-man plays range from the 
post-pivot block to some form of "splitting the post." We have found 
that the use of more than three players to develop a scoring play 
results in a mechanical, lackluster movement of ball and players. 

When plays and play opportunities lack freedom and dash and 
spontaneous action they cease to be effective. The following three- 
man plays blend easily into the give-and-go weave circulation. 
Please note at this time that a change-up, turn, or pivot away from 
the usual backcourt give-and-go principle of the weave reverses the 
circulation path. In other words, in the give-and-go weave, a player 
in the backcourt or coming up along the sideline is expected to move 
toward the center of the backcourt, then dash for the basket, and 
fade out toward the opposite corner. When a player on one side of 
the court turns back toward the side or corner from which he has 



just come, it means that he will reverse his circulation cut and come 
back up the same side he is now facing. This innovation will be ex- 
plained in the chart descriptions. 

All players not concerned in the actual screening, blocking, drib- 
bling, or passing in a two- or three-man play are expected to keep 
their opponents busy by trading positions on the side of the court 
away from the play. In Charts 54-67, three-man plays have been 
illustrated on one side of the court. Transferring the play to the 
other side of the court merely means a reversal in the direction of 
the play and a change in the duties of the players. 

Chart 54 

Chart 54 shows a three-man play incorporating the "split-the- 
post" principle. Player 1 fakes a pass to teammate 2 and then turns 
back to feed the big man, post-pivot player 3. This move on the part 
of player 1 immediately changes the circulation path; he will re- 
verse his usual cut (normally he would replace player 5 in the right 
corner) and, after setting a screen for teammate 4, will continue to 
the left corner to occupy teammate 4's corner position. 



Player 2 recognizes the circulation change and, instead of cut- 
ting toward the basket and fading off to the left corner, reverses 
and cuts toward the right corner to replace teammate 5. Players 2 
and 5 must keep their opponents busy. 

Chart 55 

Chart 55 shows a three-man corner clearout play in which 
player 1 reverses the circulation path by turning away from team- 
mate 2 and dribbling toward the left side of the court. Post-pivot 
player 3 may be stationed on either side of the court. Here, he fakes 
right and cuts to a pivot position beside the lane. 

Player 1 now passes the ball to the corner player 4 and executes 
an outside screen, circling behind him. Player 4 passes the ball to 
teammate 1 and cuts for the basket. Player 1 now has room and 
time for an attempt at a score, or he may pass to post-pivot player 3. 
Players 2 and 5, away from the play, must keep their opponents 
busy to avoid floating and sagging. 


Chart 56 


The three-man play in Chart 56 is designed chiefly to accentuate 
the circulation paths of players 1 and 2. Player 2 has the ball and 
passes to player 1, who meets the pass. Player 2 then uses the give- 
and-go weave path from that side of the court. Player 1 dribbles 
and then uses his circulation path from his side of the court. 

Chart 57 



Another example of the give-and-go weave circulation path ap- 
pears in Chart 57. Player 1 passes to player 2 and cuts for the 
basket hoping for a return pass. When the ball is not received, he 
cuts for the right corner. Player 2 dribbles and then passes off to 
corner player 4. Player 2 then continues his circulation path to the 
left corner and up the side. 

Chart 58 

Note the circulation path in the three-man play in Chart 58. 
Player 1 passes the ball to teammate 4, who has faked a baseline 
cut to the basket. Player 4 waits for player l's screen and then 
passes to post-pivot player 3 and cuts for the return pass. 

In Chart 59 player 1 again passes to teammate 4. This time 
player 1 uses a slow screen behind teammate 4's opponent and then 
continues his reverse circulation path. Player 4 cuts around the 
screen after passing to teammate 3. This time he cuts to the outside 
of the post block for the return pass. Note that player 3 is rolling 
with the pass. 



Chart 59 

Chart 60 



In Chart 60 player 1 passes to comer player 4 and cuts behind 
4's opponent. There he sets up a three-foot block. After teammate 4 
cuts around the block, player 1 follows the reverse circulation path. 
Player 4 passes the ball to post-pivot player 3 and cuts around the 
double-block set up by teammates 1 and 3. Player 4 may hand-off 
to corner player 4 or fake a pass and drive in. In the chart, he is 
pivoting away from the pass. 

Chart 61 

In Chart 61 player 2 throws a high, short pass to post-pivot 
player 3, which indicates a turnaround play. Player 3 breaks for 
the ball and pivots so that he is facing the basket. Player 2 cuts as 
shown and, if no play develops, cuts on the reverse circulation path 
shown. As player 2 reaches the corner, he sets a block against team- 
mate 5's opponent. Corner player 5 fakes right and cuts as shown 
around teammate 2's block. After the play has cleared 2 comes up 
the sideline. 



Chart 62 

Chart 62 shows a block play set up by post-pivot player 3. 
Player 5 with the ball fakes a pass to teammate 3. Teammate 3 cuts 
to the other side of the lane and pivots so that he is facing player 5. 
Corner player 4 drives around the block set up by teammate 3 for 
the pass from teammate 5. If no play is possible for player 4, the 
post-pivot player 3 cuts to the line for a pass. 

Chart 63 



The play shown in Chart 63 occurs in every game. Player 5 
drives along the baseline and succeeds in dribbling away from his 
opponent. The big man guarding teammate 3 may switch, and the 
opponent guarding corner man 4 may float toward the basket to 
help out. Player 4 waits until his guard floats away and then cuts 
out for a bounce pass from teammate 5. 

Chart 64 

In Chart 64 player 1 passes to teammate 2 and cuts toward the 
basket with his left hand extended above his head as a target for a 
return pass. Player 2 fakes a return pass to player 1 and dribbles 
toward the center of the court. He then passes to teammate 3 and 
cuts toward the basket. Player 3 returns the ball to teammate 2 and 
fills the center spot in the center of the backcourt. Players 4 and 5 
have started up the sidelines. Should player 2 attempt a shot, they 
will follow in, while teammates 1 and 3 cover the backcourt and set 
up the defensive balance. 



Chart 65 

Chart 66 



Player 1 in Chart 65 passes to teammate 2 and cuts for the 
basket. Player 2 dribbles to the left and sets an outside screen be- 
hind teammate 3's opponent. Player 3 fakes left, cuts past team- 
mate 2, gets the ball, and dribbles in for a shot. Note that players 4 
and 5 have come partway up the sidelines and are prepared to 
follow in should player 3 attempt the shot. Players 1 and 2 are re- 
sponsible for defensive balance in the backcourt. 

Player 1 in Chart 66 dribbles behind teammate 2's opponent and 
sets up a dribble-block. Player 2 cuts around the block as shown, 
drives for the basket, and should receive a bounce pass from 
player 1. Player 3 uses a fake and a change-of-pace to cut around 
the block on the other side (splitting the post). Teammates 4 and 5 
start part way up the sidelines and are prepared to follow in should 
a shot be attempted. Players 1 and 2 are responsible for defensive 
balance should a shot be attempted. 

Chart 67 

Player 1 in Chart 67 passes the ball to teammate 2 and uses an 
inside screen to cut behind 2. Player 2 passes to teammate 4 and 


cuts for the basket. He may continue on if free, but here he stops 
in the outer half of the free-throw circle and sets a block for team- 
mate 3. Player 3 cuts for the basket as shown. This is a slicing play. 
Note that player 2 reverses to cut toward the ball and to set up a 
reverse path because of the reverse continuity established by player 
2's pass to player 4. 


The use of signals is not restricted to indicating the direction of 
the tap and the receiver in jump-ball situations. Certain signals or 
signs may be used in calling a time-out, determining a change of 
offense or defense, exchanging opponents in the man-to-man de- 
fense, and transferring follow-in assignments. 

Many coaches are satisfied with securing possession of the ball 
in held-ball situations; others design certain plays from the center 
jump and the held-ball situations. Time-outs are precious in deter- 
mining strategic moves in the closing minutes of a game, and some 
sort of an arrangement should be agreed upon so that the coach 
can control the calls. Although the rules permit any player to call 
for a time-out, it should not be called without the approval of the 
coach unless a player is injured. 

Today, game strategy calls for team cohesion in changing from 
one offense to another. Some sort of a signal or sign should be de- 
vised for use between the coach and the captain and between the 
captain and teammates in deciding when one offense may be substi- 
tuted for another; when a man-to-man defense may be changed to a 
zone; when a full- or half -court press may be applied; when players' 
defensive assignments are to be switched from one opponent to an- 
other because of advantages or disadvantages in size, speed, drive, 
or other superiority; and in transferring offensive follow-in assign- 
ments when it is obvious that a certain opponent is poorly trained 
in blocking out. 

Signals may range from the old, familiar cloth-and-skin type to 
use of the eyes, called-out numbers, body facing, positions of the 


feet or the hands. These signals may be further complicated by be- 
ing used while standing or moving, talking or silent, and by the re- 
sponsibility of giving the signals changing from one player to an- 
other during the game. 

The cloth-and-skin signals are indicated by the hands, touching 
the face, arms, legs, shirt, or trunks. For example, in the center 
jump or in a held-ball situation, the player giving the signals may 
touch his right temple to designate a tap to the left forward posi- 
tion. The left hand can be used similarly to designate the right for- 
ward position. Touching the chin with either hand may designate 
the respective guard positions, and touching the legs — right or left 
and with right or left hand — may serve to designate taps directly 
to the side, to the front (long or short), and directly back (long or 

The use of called numbers may serve to set up a certain offense 
or a play. One of the outstanding professional teams in the country 
signifies certain offensive plays through called numbers. Another 
gives signals by the player's raising a hand in the air, determining 
the play or formation by the number of fingers. 

A change of defense or the application of some phase of the 
press may be signalled by the captain. Some teams give the signals 
after the scoring of a free throw or a goal from the field. And some 
coaches make the changes during a time-out. However, the change 
should be made if possible during play on the court to incorporate 
the element of surprise. 


attacking the man-to-man defense 

In building an offense the team must master the various distinct 
fundamentals, and the coach and the players must be in agreement 
concerning their usage in game situations. The fundamental drills 
should continue day after day from the first day of practice until 
the last practice before the final game. 


No coach will succeed with an offensive pattern or style unless 
his players have both a complete knowledge of the fundamentals 
and the ability to put them into practice under game conditions. 
It follows, then, that players will not be able to successfully employ 
a style of play unless they have been exposed to fundamental drills 
time after time until the use of the correct fundamentals in the 
various situations has become a habit. 

At the end of this book the various fundamental drills used in 
developing individual offensive skills are outlined. Team offensive 
drills as well as warm-up and special tactical drills are included. 
The coach should give them proper emphasis in the over-all allot- 
ment of time. 

The five-man give-and-go weave and the four-man weave and 
roll with the use of a post-pivot player have been discussed and 
diagrammed. These offensive setups will be diagrammed again to 
illustrate their use as team offenses against the man-to-man defense. 
A five-man roll and certain applications of the Three-Two offense 
will be diagrammed to show their use against man-to-man defenses. 
Attacks against the man-to-man variations will be found under 
"attack situations" in Chapter 4. 

The basic One-Three-One attack and an alternate for use against 
the zone defenses will be diagrammed and explained. Naturally, all 
coaches have their own theories and adaptations for use against a 
particular type of zone and its variations. 

It is important to reiterate that the use of a pattern, weave, or 
roll is vital in any basic offense in order to insure offensive and de- 
fensive balance. Otherwise, the development of game plays has 
little value except to teach situation reactions. 

The use of inside and outside screens (designated by a short line 
beside the circulation path >- ) , back screens, drib- 
ble and turnaround blocks, two-man plays, and the three-man plays 
will be diagrammed in the five-man give-and-go weave, the basic 
Two-Three, the five-man roll, the four-man roll with a post-pivot, 
and the Three-Two offenses. 

The charts do not show scoring attempts by the players since all 


offensive players are operating with complete option freedom in all 
plays. The players are, however, expected to follow the regular or 
reverse circulation paths. Frequently a player will cut in an entirely 
different direction from the required circulation and then change his 
path to end up correctly in the proper continuity. 

The post-pivot player is used as a scoring threat in all formations, 
although none of the diagrams show him attempting a shot. In his 
capacity as a blocker or post or pivot player he has many oppor- 
tunities to handle the ball and may elect to fake a hand-off and 
attempt a shot whenever he feels it is the correct option. 

the five-man give-and-go weave 

The five-man weave keeps the under-basket area open and pro- 
vides the basic circulation for all offenses used at North Carolina 
University. As a straight game offense it permits excellent use of 
change-of -direction tactics; inside, outside, and back screens; drib- 
ble blocks; and slicing plays. 

By the use of the dribble the weave can be slowed down to permit 
time for all kinds of screens and blocks. Since all offensive players 
are constantly on the move, man-to-man opponents do not dare to 
sag or float. Further, the weave provides offensive and defensive 
court balance because of the ease with which the weave "spots" 
(three in the backcourt and one in each corner) are filled. 

The charts here are diagrammed to the right only; naturally, all 
circulations and all plays may be used to the left. The diagrams are 
designed chiefly to illustrate the circulation and a few natural plays. 
The players themselves will develop many extemporaneous plays 
once they become aware of the possibilities. 

In Chart 68 player 1 passes the ball to teammate 2 and uses a 
back screen to receive a return pass. Player 1 may now pass the ball 



Chart 68 

to 2 (cutting with right hand raised as a target), or pass to 3 (left 
hand raised) who has used a slicing cut closely behind the block 
(three feet) set by left comer player 5. The backcourt defensive 
balance is set up by players 4 and 5. 

Chart 69 



In Chart 69 player 1 passes the ball to teammate 2 and sets up a 
block (three feet) behind 2's opponent. Player 2 passes the ball to 
the corner player 4. This establishes reverse circulation, since the 
regular circulation calls for a path toward the left and a pass to 
teammate 3. After passing to player 4, player 2 sets a slow-moving 
screen for teammate 3. Player 3 fakes left and cuts down the lane. 
Note again that the reverse circulation is established because player 
2 changes the continuity by passing to 4 instead of 3. Players 1 
and 5 are responsible for the defensive balance. 

Chart 70 

Chart 70 illustrates the usual give-and-go with player 3 setting 
up a turnaround play for player 2. Player 1 passes to player 2 and 
cuts for the basket. At the same time, the post-pivot player 3 cuts 
out for the ball. Player 2 gives teammate 3 a high, lob pass and cuts 
around the turnaround block. Player 3 (facing the basket with the 
ball held high over his head) will pass, shoot, or dribble in for the 
lay-up, depending upon the action of his opponent. Players 4 and 5 
set up the defensive balance in the backcourt. 



Chart 71 

In Chart 71 player 1 passes the ball to teammate 2 and uses an 
inside screen to cut behind 2. Player 2 returns the ball to 1 and 
tries to maneuver his opponent into l's guard and drive for the 
basket. Note that post-pivot player 3 is keeping his opponent busy 
by whirling toward the baseline. The corner men (4 and 5) come up 
the sidelines and will set up the defensive balance in the backcourt. 

Chart 72 



In Chart 72 player 1 passes to teammate 2 and uses an outside 
screen to get behind 2. Player 2 immediately passes the ball to team- 
mate 5 and cuts for the basket. Player 3 again whirls to take his 
opponent out of the play and to get into position for a pass from the 
cutter should his opponent switch to cover player 2. Player 5 passes 
the ball to 2 and continues up the sideline. In this situation player 5 
will follow in should a shot be taken, and players 1 and 4 will be re- 
sponsible for defensive balance. 

Chart 73 

In Chart 73 player 1 passes to teammate 2 and uses a back screen 
to receive the return pass. Immediately after passing, player 2 fakes 
left and cuts around the block set by post-pivot player 3. Player 5 
will follow in if player 1 returns the pass to the cutter 2. In this 
case players 1 and 4 will be responsible for the defensive balance 
in the backcourt. 



Chart 74 

In Chart 74 player 1 sets up a dribble-block behind teammate 2's 
opponent. (Note that player 1 is facing the basket.) Player 2 cuts 
around the block and will receive a bounce pass if he succeeds in 
getting free. If player l's opponent switches, 1 may shoot or pass 
to post-pivot player 3. In this chart player 1 passes to teammate 2. 
Players 4 and 5 are responsible for defensive balance. 

Chart 75 



In Chart 75 player 1 passes to teammate 2 and cuts for the 
basket. Player 2 passes to post-pivot player 3 who dribbles up be- 
hind teammate 2's opponent. Player 2 holds his position until 
player 3 has dribbled to the block position and then uses a change- 
of-direction and a hard cut for the basket to get free for a return 
pass. Players 4 and 5 set up the backcourt defensive balance. 

Chart 76 

In Chart 76 player 1 fakes to teammate 2, then reverses and 
dribbles to his left. (This sets up reverse circulation.) Player 1 then 
passes to teammate 4, fakes right and cuts behind 4 for a return 
pass. Post-pivot player 3 fakes and then cuts as shown to the op- 
posite side of the lane. Player 4 gives player 1 an over-the-shoulder 
pass to set him up for a set-shot clearout and then breaks for the 
basket. Player 1 may now shoot or may pass either to the big man 
or to the corner man (player 5) who has cut across court toward 
the ball. Player 2, on the opposite side of the court, uses the reverse 
circulation path and returns to the backcourt where he is joined by 
teammate 1 for defensive balance. 



Chart 77 

In Chart 77 player 1 fakes a pass to teammate 2 and then feeds 
the ball to the big man who has cut to a post position beside the 
free-throw line. Player 1 then fakes to the right and sets a slow, out- 
side screen for player 4. Player 1 reverses and returns to the back- 
court for defensive balance. The corner man 4 utilizes the screen by 

Chart 78 



teammate 1 and cuts past teammate 3 for a hand-off. Player 2 ex- 
changes positions with player 5 and, if a play occurs, may cut back 
toward the basket or rejoin teammates 1 and 5 in the backcourt. 

In Chart 78 player 1 passes to teammate 2 and cuts for the 
basket. Player 2 fakes a return pass to player 1 and then dribbles 
left across court behind the moving, outside screen set by player 1 . 
Player 3 also sets a block on the side of the lane. If player 2 is un- 
able to continue on to the basket for a score, he executes a reverse 
pivot and attempts to feed the ball to the corner man 4 who cuts 
across for the hand-off. Players 1 and 2 will return to the back- 
court for defensive balance. 

Chart 79 

In Chart 79 player 1 fakes to teammate 2 and then reverses the 
circulation by lobbing a high, short pass to post-pivot player 3. 
Player 3 sets up the turnaround play for teammate 1 who cuts 
around for a possible return pass. If there is a switch, the big man 3 
can shoot or dribble in for a lay-up. If he is checked and player 1 is 
covered, he may pass to corner man 4 who has cut around a block 
set by player 1. The backcourt balance is set up by players 1 and 5. 



Chart 80 

In Chart 80 player 1 fakes to teammate 2 and then passes to the 
comer man 4. This sets up the reverse circulation path and 1 re- 
turns to the backcourt. Player 4 meets the pass and feeds the op- 

Chart 81 



posite corner man 5 who has cut around the block set by the post- 
pivot player 3. Player 4 follows his pass. As soon as teammate 5 
clears his block, the post-pivot player 3 drops back to the outer 
half of the free-throw circle. Player 5 may attempt a shot if he is 
loose, return the ball to teammate 4, or pass to the post-pivot 
player 3 on the free-throw line. (Player 3 is usually free for a shot 
on this play.) 

In Chart 81 player 1 dribbles to an outside-screen position be- 
hind teammate 2's opponent. He then hands-off to player 2 and 
continues toward the basket. Veering off to the right, he sets a block 
for corner player 5. Player 2 dribbles a short distance and then 
passes to the corner man 4. Player 2 cuts around teammate 4 ex- 
pecting a return pass. If it does not materialize, he cuts for the left 
corner and back up the sideline for defensive balance. If player 4 
cannot return the ball to player 2, he feeds teammate 3 the ball and 
cuts for the basket. The opposite corner man 5 cuts across the lane 
to "split the post." If he fails to get a hand-off, he continues to the 
corner to replace teammate 4. Players 1 and 2 are responsible for 
defensive balance. 

Chart 82 



In Chart 82 player 1 passes to teammate 2 and sets a block be- 
hind 2's opponent. Player 2 fakes right and dribbles hard behind 
the block. If he succeeds in maneuvering his opponent into the 
block, he continues his dribble toward the basket. If he cannot get 
free, he passes to the corner man 4, executes a hard stop, and cuts 
behind the block set by the post-pivot player 3. Player 4 returns 
the pass and player 2 should be free for a scoring attempt. Play- 
ers 4 and 5 are responsible for defensive balance. 

Chart 83 

In Chart 83 player 1 passes to teammate 2 and cuts for the 
basket. If player 2 cannot return the pass, he dribbles as shown and 
uses a reverse turn to set up a block for the corner man 4. The post- 
pivot player 3 moves across the lane to set up a double block with 
teammate 2. Player 4 fakes to the left, cuts across in front of the 
double block, and receives a hand-off from player 2. The backcourt 
balance is the responsibility of players 2 and 5. 



Chart 84 

In Chart 84 player 1 passes to teammate 2 and cuts for the 
basket. When player 2 pivots away and passes to the corner man 5, 
player 1 reverses his circulation path and fills the left corner spot. 
Player 2 fakes a return pass to cutter 1 and passes to the right 
corner man 5. He then cuts in front of the block set by the post- 
pivot player 3. If he does not get the ball, player 2 continues on 
around the corner and back up the sideline to the backcourt. 
Player 5 dribbles behind teammate 2's screen and in front of the 
block set by player 3. Player 1 buttonhooks around in case his op- 
ponent floats; he is prepared for the pass and a shot if player 5 does 
not have a play. Players 2 and 4 are responsible for defensive bal- 

In Chart 85 player 1 fakes a pass to teammate 2, dribbles hard 
to the side of the free-throw line, and sets up a pivot-block beside 
post-pivot player 3. Player 2 replaces teammate 4 and is prepared 
to cut back to the basket. The big man whirls around teammate 1 
(reverse offensive play) and takes the pass for a jump shot. Players 
4 and 5 are responsible for the backcourt defensive balance. 



Chart 85 

In Chart 86 player 1 passes to teammate 2 and executes an in- 
side screen as he rolls toward the right corner. Player 2 dribbles 
left a short distance, passes the ball to teammate 3, and executes 

Chart 86 



an inside screen as he rolls to the left corner. Player 4 comes up the 
sideline a short distance and then moves toward the center of the 
court prepared to receive a pass from player 3. Player 5 also ad- 
vances up the left sideline and rolls toward the center of the court 
expecting a pass from teammate 4. All players use the inside screen 
in this roll (cutting between a teammate and his opponent). 

Chart 87 

Chart 87 shows the use of outside screens in the roll. This is a 
difficult maneuver; to avoid contact, all players must be able to em- 
ploy a pivot-spin. The pivot spin when moving to the right is exe- 
cuted by pivoting away from a teammate's opponent on the left foot. 
When moving to the left, the pivot spin is made by pivoting away 
from the approaching opponent on the right foot. 

In Chart 87 player 1 passes the ball to teammate 2 and attempts 
to execute an outside screen. Because the opponent guarding team- 
mate 2 is approaching, player 1 avoids contact by using a pivot 
spin from his extended left foot. Player 2 dribbles a short distance 
and then passes to teammate 3. Since the opponent guarding team- 
mate 3 is approaching, player 2 must also pivot-spin away and 
back on his right foot to avoid contact. (The term contact means to 
charge an opponent which, naturally, is a foul.) 



Chart 88 

In Chart 88 player 1 passes to teammate 2, executes an inside 
screen, and continues on to the right corner. Player 2 dribbles to 
the left, passes the ball, and executes another inside screen. Player 3 
dribbles around the screen toward the basket. Players 4 and 5 are 
responsible for continuing the roll to the center of the court. 

Chart 89 



In Chart 89 player 1 passes to teammate 2, executes an inside 
screen, and continues to the right corner to replace teammate 4. 
Player 2 reverses and, instead of passing the ball to teammate 3, 
passes to player 4. He then cuts left and establishes a block beside 
the lane. This sets reverse circulation in motion; player 3 immedi- 
ately reverses his circulation path and sets up a block in the outer 
half of the free-throw circle. Player 5 has rolled up the left sideline 
and now drives hard to the right of the two blocks and down the 
right side of the free-throw lane. Player 4 passes the ball to him and 
follows in. Players 2 and 3 reverse to the backcourt and are re- 
sponsible for defensive balance. 

Chart 90 

In Chart 90 player 1 passes to teammate 2 and executes an inside 
screen as he rolls toward the left corner. Player 2 dribbles to the 
right, passes to teammate 3, and employs an inside screen on his 
way to the right corner. Player 3 dribbles toward the center of the 
court, passes to teammate 4, executes an inside screen, and moves 
toward the left corner. Player 4 dribbles to the right prepared to 
pass the ball to teammate 2, who is now rolling out from the right 




Chart 91 

In Chart 91 player 1 passes to teammate 2. Just before the pass 
is made, post player 5 drives to a post position in the outer half of 
the free-throw circle to a spot behind player 1 who held the ball. 
Now, as the ball is passed to player 2, post-player 5 moves to a 

Chart 92 


position between player 2 and the basket. Player 2 dribbles to the 
left, passes to teammate 3, executes an inside screen, and continues 
on to the left corner. Post-player 5 moves with the ball as shown. 
Player 3 dribbles right and passes to teammate 4. During this drib- 
bling and passing each player is watching .for his or a teammate's 
opponent to make a mistake so a drive for the basket can be at- 

In Chart 92 player 1 passes to teammate 2. Instead of using the 
regular continuity and passing to teammate 3, player 2 reverses 
and feeds the corner man 4. Player 4 drove for the basket, threw 
a hard stop, and angled out to get the pass. Player 2 followed his 
pass, set up an outside screen behind teammate 4's opponent, and 
then circled in back of player 4. 

When player 5 saw the pass to the opposite corner man 4, he 
broke across the lane and established a pivot position. Player 4 re- 
turned the ball to player 2 for a clearout maneuver and broke 
toward the basket, cutting around player 5 and moving to a position 
in the outer half of the free-throw circle. Player 2 may shoot or 
pass. Player 3 sets up the defensive balance and will get defensive 
help from teammate 1. 

In Chart 93 player 1 passes to teammate 2 and cuts for the 
basket. Player 2 dribbles in the regular continuity path to the left 
and uses a slow dribble-screen for teammate 3. After screening 
teammate 3's opponent, player 2 dribbles on and sets up a pivot on 
the left side of the lane. Player 5 cuts across for a possible hand-off. 
If no play results, he continues to the right corner and sets up a 
block for teammate 4. Player 3 cuts for the basket either behind 
the screen set by player 2 or (see asterisk) in front of the pivot 
(player 2). Player 1 is in charge of the defensive balance and should 
get help from teammate 4 or teammate 5. 

In Chart 94 player 1 passes to teammate 2 and cuts for the 
basket. When player 2 reverses and passes to the corner man 4, 
player 1 reverses his usual circulation path and drives for the left 
corner. Player 2 follows his pass to player 4 and circles back for a 



Chart 93 

possible clearout play. If the pass does not materialize, he returns 
to the backcourt where player 1 joins him for defensive balance. 
Player 3 changes direction and breaks for the basket. When he sees 
the possibilities of the pivot play he drops back to the outer half of 
the free-throw circle. Player 4 (with the ball) passes to teammate 
5 and breaks for the basket. 

Chart 94 



Chart 95 

In Chart 95 player 1 passes the ball to teammate 2 and cuts for 
the basket. Player 2 reverses the circulation, passes to the right 
corner man 4, and circles behind him. When player 4 elects to 
dribble across to the opposite side of the free-throw lane, player 2 
returns up the right sideline to the backcourt. Player 1 reverses his 
circulation path, cuts to the left corner, and starts slowly up the 
left sideline. When player 1 sees teammate 5 maneuvering his op- 
ponent for a cut around the pivot established by player 4, he (1) 
uses a change-up and cuts in front of the pivot. Player 5 cuts behind 
the screen and toward the basket and may get a hand-off from 
player 4. Player 3 has kept his opponent busy by threatening to cut. 
As soon as player 5 drives for the basket, he too cuts to split the 
post with the chance he may get a hand-off. Players 1 and 2 will 
provide backcourt defensive balance. 

In Chart 96 player 1 passes the ball to teammate 2 and cuts for 
the basket. When player 2 reverses the circulation by passing to 
the right corner man 4, player 1 also reverses and veers to the left 
corner. Player 2 follows his pass and uses a back screen to receive 
a return pass from player 4. The left corner man 5 breaks toward 
the ball and receives it from player 2. Players 4 and 2 have split 



Chart 96 

the post as shown. Player 2 circles back to the comer if he has no 
play, and the right corner man 4 drops back to the outer half of the 
free-throw circle for a possible pass. Player 3 keeps his man busy 
by maneuvering as shown and then drops back for defensive bal- 
ance with teammate 1 . 

Chart 97 



In Chart 97 player 1 dribbles behind teammate 2. Player 2 at- 
tempts to maneuver his opponent into a pick-off on player 2's 
opponent. If he is successful, he continues on to the basket for a 
possible return pass. When player 1 passes the ball to player 4, 
player 2 executes a shallow cut and returns to the backcourt for de- 
fensive balance. Player 1 follows his pass, provides an outside 
screen for teammate 4, cuts to the corner and then back up the 
right side of the court for defensive balance. On the opposite side 
of the court, left corner man 5 has cut to the outer half of the free- 
throw circle to set up a block for player 3. Player 3 times his move 
and drives for the basket. Player 4 may continue his dribble for a 
shot or pass to teammates 3 or 5. In the diagram he passes to the 
cutter 3. Player 5 reverses and moves toward the basket after team- 
mate 3 has cleared the post block. 

Chart 98 

In Chart 98 player 1 passes to teammate 2 and uses an inside 
screen before cutting behind 2. Player 2 returns the pass to team- 
mate 1 and cuts for the basket. Player 1 passes the ball to the right 
corner man 4 and follows the pass. Left corner man 5 uses teammate 
2's screen to break across to the right side of the lane and set up a 



post position. Player 4 passes the ball to 5 and cuts as shown. 
Player 3 has faked left to keep his opponent busy and gain time. He 
now cuts down the right side of the lane behind player 4's screen, 
hoping for a hand-off. Players 1 and 2 set up the defensive balance 
in the backcourt. 


Chart 99 




Chart 100 




In Chart 99 player 1 is the key player and must keep moving so 
that he may serve as a safety point to which the ball may be re- 
turned in an emergency. Player 2 is the expert ball handler. He 
moves constantly, forcing his opponent C to stay with him. He 
must not only be a good ball handler but must have a good one- 
hand set and jump shot. The sideline players, 4 and 5, are expected 
to exchange positions and to team up with player 1 in establishing 
defensive balance and in protecting the ball. They also assist team- 
mate 3 in outnumbering the defensive rebounders D and E. 

The effectiveness of the attack against the Two-One-Two zone 
rests largely in the hands of player 2. Rapid movement of the ball 
between players 1, 2, 4, and 5 puts constant pressure on defensive 
chasers A and B who cannot possibly cover the entire width of the 

The baseline player 3 moves from side to side, holding the de- 
fensive rebounders D and E in place. Player 3 follows in all shots, 
breaks out to keep the ball moving in the under-basket attack, and 
fills the corners. The strength of the Two-One-Two zone lies in the 
under-basket defensive triangle. The weakness is on the sides and 
in the corners. 

In Chart 100 the One-Three-One offense is used against the Two- 
Three zone defense. The Two-Three zone attempts to protect areas 
close to the basket. This leaves the middle open from sideline to 
sideline so that players 2, 4, and 5 should have many good scoring 

Players 1, 2, 4, and 5 keep the ball hopping and move to set up 
offensive triangles against all three players of the back line of the 
zone defense. Players 4 and 5 must be good side shots and careful 
passers. They do most of the cutting and share the ball-handling 
responsibility with teammate 2. 

Player 3, on the baseline, sets up three-on-two situations against 
opponents D and E by working to and around the corners. He 
should possess a good corner shot. 

In Chart 101 the Two-Two-One offense is used to meet the One- 
Two-Two zone defense. This zone defense is a bunched defense 



Chart 101 





and is vulnerable to medium-length shots. Since it closely resembles 
a Three-Two defense, it has the same fast-break strength. Players 
1 and 2 should be able to handle this situation since they out- 
number defensive opponent A. With the assistance of teammates 
4 and 5 they always have a four-on-three advantage. 

The presence of player 3 working along the baseline is a con- 

Chart 102 





stant threat to defensive players D and E and forces them to re- 
main in position. This provides an opportunity for sideline players 
4 and 5 to work with 3 in outnumbering one of the rebounders. 
When opponents B and C drop back to help out one of the back- 
court players, 1 or 2 can drive through for a shot or to assist in the 

Chart 102 shows the Two-Two-One offense used to attack the 
Three-Two zone defense. The Three-Two zone is vulnerable in the 
vicinity of the basket and in the corners. Its strength lies in the 
ability of defensive rebounders D and E to control the backboard 
and in the fast-break efficiency of the chasers A, B, and C. 

Attacking players 1, 2, 4, and 5 outnumber opponents A, B, and 
C and should be able to move the ball until they secure the opening 
they desire. 

The presence of player 3 working along the baseline holds re- 
bounders D and E more or less in position and leaves plenty of 
scoring area near the basket. Once the ball passes the front de- 
fensive line of A, B, and C, attacking players 4, 5, and 3 have a 
three-two advantage and should employ it to secure sure shots. 

Players 4 and 5 are expected to assist teammates 1 and 2 in set- 
ting up defensive balance. Should 1 or 2 cut through into the front 
court, player 4 or player 5 must drop back to help maintain de- 
fensive balance. 

Chart 103 shows the One-Three-One offense used to attack the 
One-Three-One zone defense. This defense is weak in the corners 
and along the sidelines. Although it appears to be wide open under 
the basket, this is not necessarily true. The defense was originated by 
Clair Bee (former coach at Long Island University) with the ex- 
press purpose of stopping the big man and has been effective in 
doing so. The alignment of players lends itself to excellent use of 
the fast break. 

The One-Three-One attacking formation as shown appears to 
match the zone players on a man-to-man basis. However, this situ- 
ation changes as soon as the ball is passed and the defensive players 
begin to use their moves and slides. 



Chart 103 




Player 1 is the quarterback of the attack and, with the assistance 
of teammates 2, 4, and 5, must get the ball into the comer and 
under-basket area. Then the comers are attacked by players 2, 4, 
and 3 on the left side and by players 2, 5, and 3 on the right side. 
Players 1, 4, and 5 are responsible for the defensive balance. 


The five-man roll usually employs the inside screen in rolling 
from corner to comer. The players move from the center of the 
court to one corner, then back to the center, and thence to the 
other comer in a continuous roll. The use of the inside screen pro- 
tects the ball; about all the passer has to worry about is that he does 
not charge a teammate's guard when he executes the inside screen. 

The five-man roll is used by many teams to freeze the ball. The 
continuous roll from comer to comer annoys many opposing teams 
who get impatient when the ball is held up. This attack is designed 
to take immediate advantage of interception attempts. Outside 
screens may be employed, but there is considerable risk of charging 
infractions. The use of the dribble is important in slowing down the 




This is a slow, possession type of offense. The use of the dribble 
is imperative since it is difficult for the four players taking part in 
the roll to cover the corner-to-corner distance. The post-pivot 
player is used chiefly as a block around which one of the "rollers" 
may dribble or cut for a pass. When one of the players is hard 
pressed and a teammate is covered, the post-pivot player is ex- 
pected to break to the ball for safety. However, some teams employ 
the post-pivot player as a scoring medium from a high post position 
or on the side of the lane. He usually moves with the ball, trying 
to keep between the ball and the basket. 

The rollers (players) must dribble with their outside hands, 
keeping their bodies between the opponents and the ball (right- 
hand dribble when moving to the right, left-hand dribble when 
moving to the left) . The coach should make sure that the shoulder 
opposite the dribbling hand is lowered so that the dribbler may 
drive hard for the basket at any time and yet give the ball maximum 

Chart 104 



In Chart 104 player 1 passes to teammate 4 and replaces player 
5 on the right sideline. Player 3 cuts to the left corner and receives 
the pass from player 4. Player 4 replaces teammate 1. Player 2 
moves toward the corner, and player 5 moves at the same time. 
Player 3 with the ball should be able to shoot or to pass to player 2 
or to player 5 who can advance along the baseline. If player 3 
passes to teammate 2, he will cut toward the lane as shown. This is 
an anticlockwise circulation and is effective because it attacks from 
behind the zone. 

Chart 105 

In Chart 105 player 1 passes to teammate 5 and follows his pass 
to replace player 5. Player 5 passes to teammate 2 and cuts for the 
right corner. Player 3 cuts away from the ball to the other side of 
the court. Player 4 replaces teammate 1 in the backcourt. Player 2 
should be able to shoot or pass to teammate 3, 5, or 1. 

Instead of the usual One-Three-One offense against the Two- 
One-Two zone defense, in Chart 106 the Two-Two-One attack is 
used. Player 1 passes to teammate 2 and delays. Player 2 passes to 
teammate 5 on the right and follows his pass to replace 5. Player 1 
cuts directly at the middle defensive player and then swerves to the 
right and receives the ball from teammate 5. Player 5 immediately 



cuts for the basket. Player 3 moves toward the right corner along 
the baseline. Player 4 replaces player 1 in the backcourt for de- 
fensive balance. Player 1 may now shoot or pass to teammate 3, 
5, or 2. 

Chart 106 

Chart 107 



The Two-Two-One attack is again used against the Two-One- 
Two defense in Chart 107. Player 1 passes to teammate 2 and re- 
places 2. Player 2 passes to teammate 5 on the right and follows his 
pass to replace 5. Player 5 passes to teammate 3 who has cut to the 
right corner, and then 5 cuts for the basket. Player 4 on the left de- 
lays until the ball is passed to teammate 3 and then cuts as shown. 
Player 3 now may pass to teammate 5, 4, or 2, or he may shoot 
from the corner. 


Chart 108 

In Chart 108 player 1 passes to teammate 5 and follows the ball 
to replace 5. Player 4 replaces 1 in the backcourt for defensive bal- 
ance. Player 2 cuts for the right corner. Player 3 breaks out from 
the baseline to the ball. Player 5 passes the ball to player 3 and 
drives for the basket. Player 3 may shoot or pass the ball to team- 
mate 2, 5, or 1. 



Chart 109 

In Chart 109 player 1 passes directly to the post player 2 and 
moves to the right to replace player 5. Player 2 pivots as soon as he 
gets the ball and takes one bounce preparatory to taking a shot. As 
soon as player 2 gets the ball, teammate 5 cuts for the basket and 
the baseline player moves to the corner. Player 4 replaces teammate 
1 in the backcourt for defensive balance. Player 2 may shoot or 
pass to teammate 3, 5, or 1. 


The Two-Two-One surrounds the One-Two-Two zone in Chart 
110. Player 1 passes to teammate 2 and replaces him for defensive 
balance. Player 2 passes to teammate 5 and follows his pass to re- 
place 5. As player 5 receives the ball, player 3 breaks to a post posi- 
tion on the lane. Player 5 passes the ball to teammate 3 and cuts 
to the corner. Player 4, on the weak side, cuts behind the zone and 
under the basket. Player 3 may shoot or pass to teammate 4, 5, or 2. 

In Chart 111 player 1 passes to teammate 2 and replaces him for 
defensive balance. Player 2 passes to teammate 5 and follows his 
pass to replace player 5. Player 4, on the weak side, cuts across to a 




Chart 110 

post position on the right side of the lane. Player 5 passes the ball 
to teammate 4 and drives for the basket. Player 3 moves to the 
right corner. Player 4 may now attempt a shot or pass to teammate 
3, 5, or 2. 

Chart 111 




Chart 112 


In Chart 112 player 1 passes the ball to teammate 2 and follows 
the path shown to cut to a post position on the right side of the 
lane. Player 2 passes the ball to teammate 5 and follows the pass 
to replace 5. Player 5 passes the ball to teammate 1 and cuts for the 
right corner. Player 3 moves along the baseline to the left side of 
the basket. Player 1 may now shoot or pass to teammate 5, 3, or 2. 

In Chart 113 player 1 passes the ball to teammate 2 and follows 
the pass to replace 2. Player 2 passes to teammate 5 and follows 
his pass to replace 5. As soon as player 5 gets the ball, player 3 
breaks out beside the lane and receives the pass from player 5. 
Player 4 breaks from behind the zone and along the baseline and 
under the basket. Player 3 may attempt a shot or pass to teammate 
5, 4, or 2. 



Chart 113 


Chart 114 



In Chart 114 player 1 dribbles to the right, passes the ball to 
teammate 5, and reverses to the left side to replace teammate 4. 
Player 5 passes the ball to teammate 3 who has moved to the 
corner. Player 5 then replaces player 1 for backcourt defensive 
balance. Player 2 cuts directly down the lane and then breaks right 
to receive the ball from player 3. Player 4 cuts from behind the 
zone to the basket. Player 2 may attempt a shot or pass the ball to 
teammate 3 or 4. If these players are covered, he can pass the ball 
to teammate 1 who waits on the weak side. 

Chart 115 


In Chart 115 player 1 dribbles to the right and passes to team- 
mate 2. Player 2 fakes a shot and passes to player 3. Player 3 pivots 
around prepared to shoot. Player 4 breaks from the weak side to- 
ward the basket and along the baseline. Player 5 on the right side 
does likewise. After his pass, player 2 cuts to the right as shown. 
Player 3 may shoot or pass to teammate 5, 4, or 2. Player 1 remains 
in the backcourt for defensive balance. 



The offensive formation for the Three-Two is similar to the five- 
man give-and-go weave. The comer players 4 and 5 may be used 
as "flash" post or pivot men. The corner men generally replace one 
another, moving from one side of the front court to the other and, 
when necessary, assuming backcourt duties as well as sharing in the 
defensive-balance responsibility. 

The three backcourt players use give-and-go tactics, inside and 
outside screens, dribble blocks, and slicing plays to free a team- 
mate for a drive to the basket. 

The best results are probably obtained by "ball-ahead-of-the- 
man" tactics instead of the "man-ahead-of-the-ball" found in the 
give-and-go attack. The usual give-and-go weave with the reverse 
continuity is used to maintain court and defensive balance. 


Zone defenses vary so much in formation and usage that it is im- 
possible to teach a specific attack to meet all the types that may be 
met in a particular season. It is far better to teach one or two basic 
offenses and depend upon these to meet the various zones, chang- 
ing their alignment as changes are found necessary to meet the 
peculiarities of the various zones encountered. 

At North Carolina University we use the One-Three-One and the 
Two-Two-One formations as our basic zone offenses. We have 
found that we can meet any type of zone with these two forma- 
tions. We try to use these two basic zone-offense formations in 
such manner that we outnumber one defensive part of the zone. 
Then we center our attack at this point. 

In attacking any zone we try, naturally, to use the fast break to 
reach attacking territory before the opponents can get their de- 
fensive zone set up. When we are unable to develop a fast-break 


situation, we slow down and adapt one of our two basic offenses to 
the type of zone our opponents employ. 

Scouting notes usually suffice to acquaint us with the type of 
zone and any variations being used. It is at this point that our 
"quarterback" becomes important, since we must assume that our 
opponents may plan special defensive measures for us. He must 
assume the responsibility of setting up the One-Three-One or the 
Two-Two-One attacking formation. However, all of our players 
have been familiarized with their assigned positions and duties and 
advance to them confidently with little lost time. As soon as the 
opponents' type of zone is revealed, the players recognize the plays 
necessary and attack immediately. 

We emphasize the short pass; player movement from the rear 
(behind the zone opponents); a strong follow-in game; shots down 
the middle (from the backcourt right on through the free-throw- 
circle area and into the lane) ; shots from the sides and corners; and 
player replacement (when a player cuts, he usually pulls an op- 
ponent away from that particular zone area). 

Our players are aware that a zone loses much of its strength 
when they can make it move and keep it moving. Further, they 
realize that a zone that can be opened up (spread) leaves open- 
ings from which good shots may be obtained. Constant movement 
with the use of short, fast passes and the elimination of bad shots 
means success. 

Dribbling, bouncing the ball, holding up the passing, too much 
use of feints and fakes, cross-court passes, and bunching the offense 
work to the advantage of the zone. So the rule is to keep the ball 
hopping and to use the planned and practiced moves necessary to 
force openings for good shots. 

There are a great number of zone formations, but we have found 
that our competitors show preference for the various types in the 
following order: 

1 Two-One-Two zone 

2 Two-Three zone 


3 One-Two-Two zone 

4 Three-Two zone 

5 One-Three-One zone 

With that classification as a starting point, we utilize our two 
basic zone offenses to set up attacks as shown in Charts 99-103. 

The zone alignments shown in Charts 104-115 are used only 
to permit the presentation of the basic zone defenses. Naturally, 
the movements of the attacking players and the progress of the ball 
result in various zone shifts. If the basic zone offenses do not work 
as applied to the various zone defenses, one may be substituted for 
the other. A few of the changes in the offensive moves and the 
probable zone reactions follow. 


preparing for attack 


Center-tap plays are not nearly as important as in the days of 
the center jump following a score. In a close game, however, the 
advantage to be gained in obtaining possession in more than half 
of the 15 or 20 times a held ball occurs during a game may mean 
the difference between victory and defeat. To win close games a 
team must at least break even in the recovery of the ball in these 

The chief concern in any jump-ball situation is to make sure of 
possession. The opening tap for each half and those at the begin- 
ning of the quarters are important because they enable a team to 
take control of the game, to get the "feel" of the ball. In the over- 
time period or periods, possession from the tap is vitally important 
because of the limited time left to play. 

The development of plays from the center-tap and jump-ball 
situations implies control of the tap. However, the prevalence of 
tall players in basketball today means that practically all teams 
have one or more fine jumpers and there is always the chance of 
loss of the tap. Further, the setting up of worth-while plays means 
that defensive balance must be weakened in some spot. 

At North Carolina University we prefer to make sure of posses- 
sion of the ball. Plays are disregarded until the ball is securely in 
hand. This does not mean that the center-tap and jump-ball situ- 




ations are neglected. Far from it. Considerable time is devoted to 
jump-ball formations and all players are given positive assignments. 
These assignments are defined by the signals used in designating 
the position to which the ball will be tapped and the screening or 
blocking necessary by teammates to free the receiver. 

Chart 116 

The Deep Back Tap shown in Chart 116 is an almost sure pos- 
session tap, provided that each player does his job. The objective 
is to get the ball at all costs. Player 1 is expected to tap the ball as 
far behind him as possible in the direction of his opponents' basket. 
Teammates 2 and 3 are in a good blocking position and must keep 
opponents B and C from following the ball. That is their only re- 
sponsibility. Player 4 or player 5 or both are assigned to go get 
the ball. Good bluffing is important here since the opponents will 
make it tough to get the ball if they are aware of the play. Maneuver- 
ing by players 4 and 5 as if they expect to get the ball will help. As 
soon as player 1 strikes the ball backwards, players 4 and 5 will 
dash downcourt for the ball. This is a fairly safe play even if it fails, 
since all of the circle players, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, are in proper de- 
fensive positions. 



The photograph on page 252 illustrates the usual jump-ball 
formation. However, the danger of a long forward tap toward the 
opposite basket is apparent here. Should the jumper in the dark 
suit get the tap and succeed in slapping the ball far down the court, 
his teammate 40 on this side with his left hand raised above his 
head should be able to pivot and beat his opponent 1 1 in the dash 
downcourt to the ball and score an easy basket. This is a simple 
but effective play and occurs in many games. Note the defensive 
foot positions of the guards in the dark suits. 

Chart 117 

Chart 117 shows a fairly safe front-court jump-ball play. Player 
1 must be considered a better jumper than his opponent A. The 
ball is tapped slightly forward to teammate 4. Player 3 cuts around 
behind teammate 2 and will continue on toward the basket should 
player 4 get the ball. As soon as player 3 passes, player 2 must drop 
back fast for defensive balance. If the tap is lost, players 3 and 4 
dash for the backcourt to pick up opponents. If player 4 gets the 
ball he may shoot, pass to teammate 5, teammate 1 (the jumper), 
or to teammate 3 driving for the basket. 



Chart 118 

Chart 118 shows a center-jump formation that offers good pro- 
tection with some opportunity to secure the ball when the jumpers 
are about equal in leaping ability. Naturally, opponent B may not 
maintain the position shown in the chart. The use of the deep back 
tap is evidenced by the player positions shown in the chart. If any 
other tap is attempted, it must be to player 3 and away from his 
opponent. In the illustration, player 1 taps to his left and player 3 
secures the ball. Player 2 drives away from his opponent B and cuts 
past the screen provided by teammate 4 and 4's opponent D. The 



center 1 breaks in front of the post set by the tap receiver 3 and 
drives for the basket. Player 3 may pass to teammate 2 or to the 
center 1, or may dribble in for a shot. If he passes the ball to a 
teammate, he reverses and drives for the basket. Players 4 and 5 
provide defensive balance. 

Chart 119 

A back tap by player 1 in the Chart 119 setup is dangerous. 
Teammates 4 and 5 are busy defending against D and E who are in 
good shooting positions. The ball should be always tapped to the 
sides or far downcourt when opponents such as B and C are play- 
ing tightly up against teammates 2 and 3. In the chart player 1 taps 
the ball to teammate 2 and cuts to the right of the official. Player 3 
cuts diagonally as in a fast break. If teammate 2 passes the ball to 1 , 
he will dribble down the center of the court while players 2 and 3 
fill the outside lanes. 


Figure 120 (pages 257-9) illustrates player positioning on out-of- 
bounds plays. In the first, the three-man screen play is shown on 
the blackboard. The screen is set on the free-throw line and the 
play is designed to free player 2 standing behind his three team- 
mates in the outer half of the free-throw circle. Here, player 2's 
opponent B is waiting in the free-throw lane and player 2 can back 
up, receive a direct pass, and have a free shot at the basket. 

In the second photo the three-man screen play is shown with the 
opponent of the player for whom the screen is set (40) playing with 
his back to the screen. Player 40 can fake right and cut left or vice 
versa and should have little difficulty in getting free. 

In the third photo a different formation is set up. Player 42 has 
the ball out of bounds and has lifted it above his head as a signal for 
the play to start. The big man 41 will back up still facing the ball. 
Player 35 will hold his position and teammates 40 and 41 will 
scissor behind him. Player 31 will cut first and go to the left corner. 
Player 40 will cut second and drive to the right of the free-throw 
lane and then cut sharply back (left) and toward the ball for the 
play. He is the number-one receiver. Player 41 is the second re- 
ceiver. Player 31 is the third and player 35 will be the fourth. 
Player 35 holds his position until teammates 31 and 40 have cut 
past him. Then he will fall directly back and receive the security 
pass if his other teammates are covered. 


Out-of-bounds plays occur in about the same proportion as held- 
ball plays. However, the scoring possibilities are far greater, par- 
ticularly in under-the-basket plays. A quick score from an out-of- 
bounds play shakes the confidence of opponents and increases the 
scoring team's morale. Hundreds of clutch games are won each year 
by the use of well-executed out-of-bounds plays in the closing min- 
utes or seconds of a close game. This is sufficient reason for the use 
of considerable practice time to perfect the plays. 


Sideline out-of-bounds plays from the center of the court do not 
lend themselves as effectively to scoring possibilities as do those 
under the basket. However, they are more easily intercepted and 
are designed and practiced because the threat of a score makes the 
opponents guard the under-basket area and lessens interception 

Out-of-bounds plays should be well planned and should be 
adapted to the abilities of the respective players. Each player should 
have a definite assignment. The best passer should handle the ball 
out of bounds. He will usually be one of the backcourt quarter- 
backs, preferably the taller of the two. Some teams press one of the 
front-court players, the big man or a corner man, into use when the 
ball goes out of bounds under the basket. A backcourt player takes 
the ball out of bounds in other situations. 

The player who takes the ball out of bounds must keep the ball 
moving, faking right and left and up and down; he must avoid tele- 
graphing his pass. Some sort of a signal should be used to initiate 
the movement of the players and the pass of the ball in court. 

The big man should be placed near the basket if possible and 
used for blocking purposes or as the receiver of a high, safety pass. 
Spot shooters should be placed in the formation so that they can cut 
to the positions from which they shoot best. 

Each out-of-bounds play should have several options and each 
play should look and start alike. Charts 121-128 present several 
types of sideline and under-basket out-of-bounds plays with vari- 
ation possibilities that lend themselves to use by all types of players. 

In Chart 121 players 3 and 1 cut as shown and hold block posi- 
tions on the right side of the lane. Player 5 holds his position until 
the cutter 2 passes. Then 5 cuts across the lane. The play is in- 
tended for player 2. Other receivers are teammate 5 and players 
1 and 2 who have cut to the backcourt to set up defensive balance. 

In Chart 122 player 2 cuts first across in front of teammate 1. 
Player 3 cuts as before to a block position on the right side of the 
lane. Player 5 holds his position until the cutter 1 has cleared be- 



hind him and then cuts to the backcourt for defensive balance. Player 
3 also waits until the cutter 1 clears before moving to the backcourt. 
Player 1 fakes right and cuts behind teammates 2, 3, and 5 for the 


Chart 123 

In Chart 123, depending upon how he is played by his opponent, 
player 1 cuts to the right or to the left. Here he cuts left and re- 
ceives the ball from player 4. Player 4 cuts in bounds. As soon as 
player 1 gets the ball, teammates 2, 3, and 5 move as shown. Play- 
ers 2, 3, and 5 must be aware that the three-second rule is effective 
as soon as teammate 1 receives the ball and they must make sure to 
get out of the lane. After passing the ball to teammate 1, player 4 
circles as shown for the return pass and a shot in front of the basket. 
If player 4 is unable to pass to 1, he passes to 3 who cuts to the 
right corner. 

Chart 124 shows four players now spread across the lane. Play- 
ers 2, 3, and 5 hold their positions until player 1 cuts behind them 
and to the right corner. Then player 2 drops straight back. Player 
4 passes the ball to teammate 1 and cuts through the hole left by 
teammate 2. Players 3 and 5 must get out of the lane as soon as 
teammate 1 receives the pass to avoid the three-second penalty. If 
player 1 is not free for the pass, player 4 will pass to teammate 
2, 3, or 5. If player 1 gets the ball, he will watch for his out-of- 
bounds teammate 4 and return the ball as shown if possible. 

In Chart 125 player 1 cuts in front of teammate 2 and back to 
the backcourt for defensive balance. Player 5 holds fast until player 
2 cuts behind him. Then he cuts for the left corner. Player 3 backs 



Chart 124 

I ( (Q 







up as soon as the cutting signal is given by player 4 (with the ball) . 
Player 4 may pass to teammate 2 as shown or to teammate 3, 5, or 
1 in that order. 

Chart 125 



In Chart 126 player 1 screens across in front of teammate 2 and 
goes to the right corner. Players 3 and 5 hold fast until player 2 has 
cut behind them. Then they move as shown. The play is really set 
up for the pivot man 3. If player 4 cannot pass to 3, he should pass 
to players 1 or 5. Naturally, if the cutter 2 gets free, player 4 will 
pass the ball to him before considering player 3. 

The chief concern in Chart 127 is safe possession of the ball. 
Player 3 is the big man and the best ball handler. He comes in high 
in the air after faking toward the basket. Player 1 gives him a high 
pass and cuts for the basket as shown. Player 2 moves to his left 
and sets a block for teammate 4 who cuts around the block and 
joins teammate 1 in splitting the post set by player 3. Player 5 cuts 
hard for the basket and then reverses to the backcourt for a safety 
pass and defensive balance. Player 2 holds his block until team- 
mate 4 passes and then retreats for defensive balance. If player 1 
cannot hit teammate 3, he passes to player 4, 5, or 2, in that order. 

Many plays are possible from the formation shown in Chart 128 
but the emphasis here is placed on possession. On the signal, 
player 3 drops straight back one long step. Player 2 cuts as shown, 
and player 4 holds fast. Player 3 waits until teammate 5 has passed 


Chart 127 


Chart 128 


behind him and then cuts around teammate 4 and toward the 
basket. As soon as teammate 3 has passed him, player 4 cuts 
diagonally and hooks back. Player 1 (out of bounds) should pass 
to 5 if possible. If this pass is not possible he should pass to player 
2, 3, or 4, in that order. 


The position of a defensive player next to the basket on each 
side of the lane when a free throw is being attempted has lessened 
the opportunities for the offensive team to secure the ball following 
an unsuccessful free throw. Despite the handicap, however, many 
players occupying the outside offensive positions have the necessary 
coordination and timing ability to get a good tap-in position. If a 
follow-in tap shot is impossible, some of these players retain pos- 
session for their team by slapping the ball back to the shooter or 
to the defensive teammates in the backcourt. 

Frequently, a rebound will be deep enough to reach the shooter 
on the free-throw line. He should be prepared to "put the ball back 
up" and concentrate on making the second shot. If he is too closely 
pressed to get the shot away, he can tap the ball back to the team- 
mates behind him who are setting up the defensive balance. 

It is important that the players of both teams make sure that they 
do not make contact with the lines or enter the lane until the ball 
has touched the backboard or the rim of the basket. 


Control basketball is as important as the popular "run-and-fire" 
game. And, contrary to the opinion of many people, the control 
game can provide just as many tense and dramatic moments as the 
high-geared firehouse brand of basketball. When teams play good 
defensive basketball, the scoring of a single basket may be as 
thrilling as a half dozen of the run-and-throw variety. 


Control basketball implies that the ball is carefully protected and 
controlled through good passing and screening until an almost sure 
shot is possible. However, "control" applies to the mental as well 
as the physical aspect of the game. Teamplay is the essence. Indi- 
vidual play must be forgotten in the interest of the style of play; 
every player must be sold on the value of attempting good shots 
and, defensively, on playing hard and aggressively so that his op- 
ponent will not have a good scoring opportunity. 

Control basketball is not limited to offensive play. Defensive 
play is equal in importance. Emphasis is placed on making as few 
offensive errors as possible (bad passes, forced shots, traveling, ex- 
cessive dribbling, violation of the three-second rule, failure to set 
up defensive balance) and, through expert defensive play, forcing 
the opponents into making costly errors. This all means that the 
coach and the players must be prepared to spend as much time in 
the development of a strong defense as a strong offense. 

Most players regard offensive play as fun and defensive play as 
work. With the proper approach, however, playing good defense 
can give the real basketball player as much personal satisfaction as 
passing, screening, or shooting the ball. It is important that the 
coach make clear to his squad by emphasis and the allotment of 
time that he considers defensive play equally important with of- 
fensive play. Most of us coaches are prone to become involved in 
the teaching of passing, dribbling, and shooting to the extent that 
we fail to spend an equal amount of time in defensive work. 

There is no special system that can be termed control basketball. 
It is not a matter of special offensive systems or defensive styles. 
Control basketball will work as well with the five-man give-and-go 
weave as with any other style. Oklahoma A.&M. uses the four-man 
roll with a post-pivot. San Francisco uses a Two-Three formation. 
Here at North Carolina University we adapt the control game to our 
regular offensive pattern and the use of the Two-Three formation. 
To repeat, the success of the control game depends upon the atti- 
tude of the players. If they have been sufficiently drilled in main- 
taining possession of the ball until they get a good shot close to the 


basket, and if they will play an aggressive defensive game, the style 
of play will be a success. 

In our own case, we consider control of the ball vital in meeting 
teams who overmatch us in height or speed; and we have used the 
control method successfully in many important games. 


The facing photograph illustrates the standard offensive and de- 
fensive positions in a free-throw situation. The defensive rebound- 
ers (in white) have the inside positions under the basket and one 
defensive teammate is situated in each corner. The defensive player 
guarding the shooter is in a position on the left side of the lane so 
that he may step into the lane and guard the shooter 41 as soon as 
the ball touches the backboard or basket. 

The offensive players 31 and 40 are responsible for defensive 
balance and are approximately 15 feet behind the shooter. They 
are in a good position should the basket either be made or be missed 
and recovered by the opponents. If it is missed and the teammates of 
players 3 1 and 40 succeed in tapping it back, they will be in posi- 
tion to get the ball. 


The blackboard drawing on page 270 illustrates the "freeze" as we 
use it at North Carolina University. When possible we entrust the 
ball to our best dribblers (usually the backcourt players) who keep 
possession as long as possible before passing to a teammate and 
breaking away from the receiver. In the drawing player 1 dribbles 
to the right and passes to teammate 4. He then cuts toward the 
other side of the court. Player 4 will probably dribble or pass to the 


backcourt. If he dribbles out, teammate 2 will break away from the 
ball leaving the court open for player 4 and player 3 who may ap- 
proach from the left side. Note that the big man 5 is moving back 
and forth under the basket on the baseline. 

The principle accented here is to spread the defense and allow 
the man with the ball plenty of room in which to operate. Opponents 
are kept busy so they will not have time to attempt to double-team 
the man with the ball. When possible, the man with the ball is given 
the whole side of the court to himself so that he may use one-on-one 
tactics to keep the ball or break free for a sure shot. 

When we are putting on a complete freeze, no shot will be taken 
or attempted unless the man with the ball is in position to make an 
uncontested lay-up. The formation employed sets up with two men 
out and two men in with the big man deploying along the baseline 
prepared to break out for a safety pass in case one of his teammates 
runs into trouble. The four men handling the ball should be the 
best dribblers and passers and should be drilled in the maneuver 
until it comes natural for them to dribble, pass, and go away from 
the receiver. 

There are several other methods that can be employed to freeze 
the ball. All are good. One freeze style, for example, spaces four men 
along the baseline and permits the team's expert dribbler to work 
one-on-one against his individual opponent. Another places the two 
tallest and slowest men on the team in the right and left corners 
and leaves the ball in the hands of the three best passers who pass 
and cut away from one another so that the man with the ball is 
always alone on one side of the court while his two teammates 
maneuver and keep their opponents busy on the opposite side of 
the court. 



Chart 129 

The freeze in Chart 129. is patterned after the give-and-go weave 
except that here the passer cuts away from the receiver. The players 
in the corners hold their positions as long as possible before ad- 
vancing up the sidelines. Even then, they constantly threaten to cut 
for the basket. Player 1 dribbles toward the right and passes to 
teammate 2. Note that player 2 starts a hard cut for the basket be- 
fore reversing. In this widespread formation the change-up can 
often be used to break free for an easy lay-up. The middle of the 
court and the under-basket area must be kept free. Player 2 dribbles 
towards the left and passes to player 3. Player 3 has cut down the 
left sideline before retreating to get the ball. After passing to team- 
mate 3, player 2 cuts for the right corner to replace teammate 4. 
Should a teammate be double-teamed or tied up, one of the corner 
men breaks for the basket and up the middle for a pass. 

The variation of the "give-and-go-away" freeze in Chart 130 
looks complicated but is fairly easy to master. Player 1 gives the 
ball to teammate 2 after a short dribble, then cuts back to the left 
sideline halfway between the corner and the ten-second line. Player 
2 (now with the ball) dribbles to the left, passes to teammate 3, 



Chart 130 

and cuts away to a position halfway between the right corner and 
the ten-second line. Player 3 dribbles to the right and passes the 
ball to teammate 4 who has advanced up the right sideline and has 
cut behind and around the post set by player 2 on the sideline. At 
the same time, player 1 has cut across in front of the basket and to 
the right corner. After passing the ball to player 4, player 3 re- 
verses away from the ball and takes the position on the left sideline 
that player 1 has just left. As soon as player 4 cuts around him, 
player 2 cuts for the left corner. 

Player 4 now has the ball and will pass to teammate 5 who came 
up the left sideline and replaced player 3 in the backcourt. Then 
player 4 will reverse and cut away from the ball to the halfway 
position on the right sideline. Player 1 will now cut around the 
block set by teammate 4 on the right sideline and will take the ball 
from player 5 who will reverse away from the ball to the left side- 

This is an excellent passing drill and if used properly will keep 
the defense busy. Should an interception be attempted by the op- 
ponent of any of the players in the weave, he should cut immedi- 
ately for the basket. 



Keep the area in front of the basket open at all times. 

Always cut away from the teammate to whom you pass the ball. 


When you do not have the ball and are advancing up the side- 
lines keep faking a change-up for the basket. 

Keep the ball out of the four corners (backcourt and frontcourt). 

Dribble as little as possible. 


No cross-court or lateral passes. Keep in mind that this is the 
most dangerous pass in the game. An interception is a sure 
basket for the opponents. 


Keep moving but hug the baseline in the corner, the sidelines, 
and the ten-second line. (Always cut toward the basket a short 
distance from the ten-second line so that you will not receive the 
ball so close to the line that you have no room to maneuver.) 


Meet the ball at all times. Don't stand and expect the ball to get 
to you. Remember the opponent is interception-minded. 


No long passes. They are just as dangerous as the cross-court 


Keep away from the teammate with the ball. Give him room ,to 


maneuver and dribble. Go to him when it appears he needs 
your help. 


Keep in mind we are playing out the clock. We are not trying 
to score. 


No shot will be tried unless it is a lay-up and almost impossible 
to miss and there is no opponent near the play. 


There are so many variations of the press that it is almost im- 
possible to prepare a team to meet all types. However, for the 
purposes of this book they may be classified as the man-to-man and 
the zone. In meeting the press (zone, man-to-man, or a variation) a 
planned and practiced attack should be so thoroughly mastered 
that the players are ready and able to put the proper maneuvers 
into immediate use. At North Carolina University we feel that a 
good dribbler is the key to an attack against any form of the press. 
In order to give him room to operate successfully, the offense should 
be spread. With plenty of room to maneuver, the dribbler will be 
able to use his one-on-one ability to advance the ball. If the back- 
court area is congested, the dribbler will have difficulty avoiding 
possible double-teaming by the opponents. 

Besides having a planned and practiced attack against the press 
it is important that the players be mentally prepared so that they 
feel confident of their ability to handle the situation. Assigned posi- 
tions, duties, practice, and the players' own use of the press will 
strengthen their confidence in their ability to handle the situation. 
And, if they are reminded from time to time that their basic offenses 
enable them to work through zones and man-to-man defenses in one 
half of the court, they will realize that advancing the ball when the 
opponents are attempting to guard all over the court is compara- 
tively easy. 


Chart 131 

In Chart 131 player 1 (best passer) takes the ball out of bounds. 
He may pass the ball in from any position along the baseline and 
should not be afraid to move to get it to teammate 2. Teammate 2 
is the dribbler. Once he gets the ball, his teammates maneuver their 
opponents so t&at they are kept out of the center of the court. 
However, 3, 4, and 5, are ready to break back to help player 1 if 
he is unable to get the ball to the dribbler 2, or to help player 2 if 
he runs into trouble after receiving the ball. Note that player 5 is 
far downcourt and is prepared to break back up the middle and in a 
straight line with the ball for a long, high pass if it is necessary. 
Player 1 follows upcourt for defensive balance. 



Chart 132 

In the attack against the press shown by Chart 132, player 1 
moves along the baseline and then passes to teammate 2 who breaks 
directly back to the ball. Player 1 cuts straight upcourt and then 
reverses to receive the ball from teammate 2. Player 2 then cuts 
straight upcourt and reverses for the return pass. Players 3, 4, and 5 
are prepared to help out in case they are needed. 



Chart 133 

In Chart 133 player 1 passes to teammate 3 instead of to player 2 
as formerly. Player 1 follows his pass and then angles left upcourt. 
Player 3 passes to teammate 2 who has cut ahead of the ball. Player 
3 changes direction and cuts ahead of teammate 1. Teammate 1 
passes the ball ahead to teammate 3. Player 3 passes ahead to 
teammate 2 and the passing continues until the press retreats. Play- 
ers 4 and 5 are ready to break to the ball if they are needed. 



Chart 134 


In Chart 134 player 1 holds the ball until player 3 has set a 
screen for the dribbler 2. He then passes the ball to player 2 who 
dribbles upcourt. Player 1 follows the right sideline and player 3 
breaks up the center of the court. Teammates 4 and 5 are prepared 
to come back to assist if needed. 




The sag and the float are employed today to such an extent that 
it can be safely said that all teams use zone principles in their man- 
to-man defense. Most of our plays are basically the one-on-one, the 
two-man give-and-go, and the three-man type. This means that two 
of our players are comparatively free. 

Since the one-, two-, or three-man plays are usually on one side 
of the court, the opponents often attempt to sag and float away from 
the free players or away from the weak side of the court (opposite 
to the side on which the play is being attempted). 

We try to take care of these weak-side "floaters" and front-line 
"saggers" by requiring our free players to interchange positions and 
employ cutting fakes to keep their opponents busy. When the inter- 
changing does not work, we set up screen and block plays against 
the opponents who are sagging or floating. 

Chart 135 

In Chart 135 players 1, 2, and 3 are working a play on the right 
side of the court. Opponents D and E are sagging and floating away 
from players 4 and 5. 


Chart 136 


In Chart 136 player 1 passes to teammate 2 and reverses to set 
an inside screen between teammate 4 and his opponent D (the 
sagger). Player 2 passes the ball to the big man 3 who dribbles 
across the lane and sets a block behind teammate 5's opponent (the 
floater), defensive player E. Players 4 and 5 cut as shown and 
should be able to evade their opponents because of the screen and 


This book is not large enough to discuss and diagram all the 
defensive combinations and variations. The combinations range 
from front-line man-to-man with a back-line zone defense to four- 
man zones with the remaining player playing a specific attacking 
opponent on a man-to-man basis. 

The screen-switch defense in which defensive players change or 
switch opponents every time the attacking players cross must be 
included in these combination defenses, as must those defenses in 
which four men play man-to-man and one man (usually a tall, agile 
player) plays a one-man zone. With a few adjustments, the basic 
offenses that have been outlined can be employed against any of 
these combinations and variations. 



When the front line of the defense plays man-to-man and the 
rear line plays zone, it is perhaps best to direct the offense against 
the front-line players, attempting to outnumber the man-to-man 
opponents, since the back-line zone players will be anchored be- 
cause of their rebound responsibilities. Naturally, the attack should 
be directed against the back line should the front line be playing 
zone and the back line man-to-man. 

When the back-line players are using zone principles, it is often 
possible to use them as blocking posts and attempt to drive their 
teammates (the players using man-to-man tactics) into the blocks. 
One of the remaining offensive players should operate behind the 
back zone line and the other should be used to assist in outnumber- 
ing the front-line man-to-man opponents. 

The screen-switch defense is often used as a basic team defense. 
However, some teams restrict the use of the switch to the front-line 
defensive players. At any rate, the principles used to attack the 
front line also apply to the back line. 

Chart 137 

In Chart 137 offensive player 4 is being guarded on a man-to-man 
basis by defensive player D. Instead of trying to score, player 4 
works as a passer or to cut behind the zone while his teammates 
attack the four-man zone box which is set up around the free-throw 



lane. A simple but excellent play is shown here. Player 1 dribbles 
slightly to the right to draw opponent B away from the big man 3 
so he can make sure of the pass. As soon as player 3 receives the 
ball, he whirls as shown and dribbles down the lane. He can stop 
and attempt a jump shot from the center of the lane or pass to team- 
mate 2 and 5 who will cut behind the player who attempts to stop 
his shot. Player 4 keeps his opponent on the move and can move 
behind teammates 1, 2, and 5 so they will have a positive screen 
over which to attempt a set shot. 

Chart 138 

Against the switching defense a change of direction is most effec- 
tive. It may be included in a roll offense, the five-man give-and-go 
weave, or the Two-Three offense. In Chart 138 player 1 passes to 
teammate 2 and starts a screen between 2 and his opponent B. Just 
as player 1 reaches the point of entry into the inside screen, he 
changes direction and cuts down the middle of the lane. The big 
man 3 rolls away from the basket prepared for a pass should his 
opponent C switch to pick up player 1 . 


Chart 139 

In Chart 139 the defensive players A and B are playing against 
offensive players 1 and 2 on a man-to-man basis. The other de- 
fensive players, C, D, and E, are using zone tactics to take care of 
the back-line defense. Player 1 passes to teammate 4 and cuts to the 
left to clear his opponent from the play. Player 4 dribbles to the 
right, passes to teammate 2, and reverses. Player 2 dribbles sharply 
toward the basket. Defensive players C and E will have to cover 
players 4, 3, or 5. One of the three should be open for a pass. 


game organization, 
scouting, strategy 

organization for game day 

Coaches who go into a game without a carefully prepared battle 
plan are begging for trouble. You simply can't leave everything to 
memory or divine providence. To assure an efficient performance 
by yourself and your team, you must follow a master blueprint — a 
plan that derives the most from your system and enables you to ad- 
just to any situation or emergency. 

The following game-day plan (which will later be broken down 
into detail) is observed at the University of North Carolina: 


Locker room before game: 

Go over offensive scouting notes. 

Decide on starting lineup. 

Decide on offense to start in game. 



Adjustments to be made according to offensive situations. 

Style of game to be played: 

Normal game. 

Control basketball. 

Hold ball back. 

Fast break. 


Full-court press. 

Pre-game practice: 

Warm-up drills. 

Set shooting . . . jump shooting. 

Foul shooting. 

Go to dressing room for final instructions. 


First time-out: 


Huddle in time-out. 


Players do not talk unless asked a question, or if injured or tired. 


Discuss possible changes in offensive strategy. 


Reason for substitutions. 


Decision on personal fouls, whether to take out player or to leave 
him in the game. 


Decision on four personal fouls, whether to take out player or 
leave him in game until he fouls out. 

Between halves: 

Check score book . . . look over shot chart. 


Tell players of their own personal fouls and of the fouls on the 


Observe leading scorer on other team. 



Make adjustments in offense if necessary. 

Give starting lineup for second half. 


When to freeze ball if we are leading. 

Plays with seconds to go. 

Offensive match-ups. 

locker-room details 

Our team arrives at the dressing room one hour before the game. 
After the squad has dressed and the trainer has checked each player, 
we have a meeting. 

At this meeting we go over the scouting report for the last time. 
The names, numbers, heights, and offensive notations are put on a 
large blackboard so that the players can easily remember the 
significant details. 

We decide on the starting lineup and announce it to the team. 
This lineup will depend a great deal on the lineup of the opponents. 
We usually try to start three big men and two smaller men (the 
regular backcourt men). We may alter this if we intend playing a 
fast-breaking game. 

Our initial offense also depends on the nature of our starting 

pre-game practice 

In warming up before the game we use a three-man passing drill 
with a lay-up for about five minutes. The purpose of this is to warm 


up the muscles and to loosen up generally. This part of the practice 
is supervised by the trainer, who is always present. After this first 
drill, we take set and jump shots with certain players working on 
their pivot and hook shots underneath. Finally, the starting team 
and the first-line substitutes practice their foul shots. Then the squad 
returns to the dressing room for a final briefing. 


style of game to be played 

We mix up the following offenses in a general pattern: single 
pivot, five-man give-and-go weave, post offense, fast break, and 
full-court press. 

We play our normal game whenever our opponents use a basic 
man-to-man defense, starting off with our regular offense as given 

We'll play a control game whenever our opponents dominate the 
backboards and are giving us only one shot at the basket. When our 
opponents are using a running game or are a well-known fast-break 
team, we try to slow them down by holding on to the ball and tak- 
ing only good shots. In other words, we try to get the other team to 
play our style of game. Usually a fast-breaking team isn't familiar 
with control basketball, and this should work to our advantage. 

We'll hold the ball against a team superior in manpower and 
bench strength, and as a change in tactics. This style of game is 
tremendously disliked by spectators, and can be used only on rare 
occasions. You will find that the opponents will usually go into a 
full-court press to try to break it up. 

the first time-out 

Once the game starts, we let the team play as planned until it 
becomes necessary to change some of our plans. This we do in the 


first time-out. Our players huddle in a group in front of our bench, 
and are taken care of by the trainer. Players do not talk in the 
huddle unless asked a question or unless one is injured or tired and 
wants a rest. 

During this first and subsequent time-outs, we discuss the strategy 
to be used; or, if the other team has taken the time-out, we may 
leave things as they are. Sometimes the work of the scout is thrown 
out the window at the first time-out. That happens whenever op- 
ponents have completely changed the style of play or are using 
players different from the ones originally scouted. 

We try to save our time-outs until the end of the game, when we 
may need them in order to stop the clock and try some new moves. 


The first substitution is usually an important one. With this move, 
you may change the style of game you have been playing. For ex- 
ample, by substituting a small man for a big man, you might change 
from a pattern offense to a fast-break attack. Or, by inserting an- 
other big man into your lineup, you might switch to a double pivot 
under the boards. Of course, you do not necessarily have to change 
your style of play. The first substitute might merely be a replace- 
ment for a player who isn't doing too well. 

Some coaches will immediately remove a player who picks up 
three personal fouls; others won't take him out unless it is very 
close to the end of the half. Experience has proved that foul No. 4 
quickly follows foul No. 3, and coaches gamble on this. They may 
open the second half with the player having three fouls and go along 
with him until he draws his fourth. At this point, they will yank him 
out and wait for the closing minutes before putting him in again. 

Other coaches believe in leaving a player in regardless of his 
fouls. They feel that a boy doesn't play as well after a stretch on the 
bench. This probably will always remain a moot question. 

It helps to have a unit in reserve that has been trained in freezing 


the ball or in throwing up a full-court press. A unit like this will 
come in handy in the final minutes of a close ball game. 

between halves 

During the first half we have one of our managers chart the shots 
taken by the players of both teams. This shot chart tells us at a 
glance where the opponents are hitting and enables us to make any 
needed defensive adjustments. 

Together with the score book, the chart tells the story of the first 
half. From this evidence, plus the intense observation by my as- 
sistant and the freshman coaches, who take notes on the bench, we 
arrive at decisions for the second half. We may stick with the same 
lineup that finished the first half or we may make certain changes 
to meet some new situation that has arisen. 

We study the score book and tell our players how many personal 
fouls they have committed and the number on each of our op- 
ponents. We warn them about the number of time-outs we took 
during the first half, and to avoid taking an extra time-out at the 
expense of a technical foul. 

We make certain observations about the leading scorer of the 
other team and offer suggestions on how to stop him. At this point 
we may also decide to change our match-ups. If our offense is be- 
ing stopped, we'll make adjustments — changing our style if neces- 
sary. For example, if the other team has a bigger player than our 
pivot man, we'll stop using a single-pivot offense and put our big 
man in the corner or at the side, wherever we think he'll work best. 
This, we hope, will take the opposition's big man away from the 
defensive boards (if they're playing man-to-man). 


When to freeze the ball when ahead. It takes a lot of expe- 
rience to learn when to go into a freeze and how to operate it. 


We've been both right and wrong on this matter. It is very difficult 
to set up any hard and fast rule. It's really a personal matter for 
the individual coach since he knows the type of player he has and 
the ability of the team to apply a successful freeze. 

We freeze or stall at the end of the game whenever we think our 
lead is sufficient. We freeze the ball in this manner: 



We open up the court by keeping the area under the basket open 
—that is, free from pivot men or post men. We send the big men 
to the corners or to the baseline. 

We move the ball and the men. We never hold the ball too long, 
since a man who does so is an easy target for a double-team sit- 
uation. We sometimes put in another smaller man ... an out- 
standing dribbler ... to help freeze the ball. 


We try to eliminate long and cross-court passes. 


We go away from the receiver when passing the ball to pre- 
vent double-teaming. 

We stay away from the lane and the ten-second line as much as 

On occasion we use continuity freeze offense with the five men 
getting into the passing, or a four-man passing freeze with one 
of the big men setting up a post outside the free-throw lane. 

A common weakness in freezing lies in forgetting to score or not 
trying to get an easy basket and increase the lead. When the op- 


ponents are using a tight man-to-man defense, plays can be worked 
down the middle and on the sides with a change-up. 

Special plays— with seconds to go. It's advisable to have 
some plays ready for situations where the clock is running out and 
your team is down by two or three points. If you don't have the 
ball, then everything must be done to secure it, such as double- 
teaming, gambling on interceptions, and possibly fouling the player 
least likely to convert his free throws. In this case you must get the 
rebound on the missed try. 

The plays with seconds to go should revolve around double and 
triple screens around the free-throw line. Nearly every coach has 
these ready for the last seconds. They can be discussed during the 
time-out near the end of the game. Also, an individual player with 
drive should be given the ball for the three-point play, his team- 
mates opening up the center of the court under the boards so he 
can have room to drive. 

scouting opponents' offense 

Almost all coaches appreciate the value of scouting information, 
and a good basketball scout is worth his weight in gold. At North 
Carolina University we keep a special scouting file in which pertinent 
information concerning old and new opponents is kept from year 
to year. These notes are supplemented by school brochures, articles, 
player information sheets, newspaper clippings, and so forth. The 
information provided by the scout is so vital that it is important the 
man selected know as much basketball as the coach himself. 

Scouting is no longer considered unethical, and it is wise to ar- 
range for transportation and scouting game tickets far enough in 
advance so that the scout will not be embarrassed in trying to get a 
good seat or, as has happened, find it impossible to gain entrance 
because of a complete sellout. A seat at the end of the court at as 
high an elevation as possible is to be preferred, although that is, 
naturally, a matter of personal likes and dislikes. It is felt that the 


end view is best because it allows the scout to see the development 
and execution of the offensive plays as well as the defensive pro- 

It is my opinion that an assistant coach, the freshman coach, or 
the head coach himself will do the best scouting job. He is familiar 
with the players and their capabilities. It is often advisable to pass 
the notes along to the freshman or the jayvee coach and have the 
players of these teams drilled in the offense and defense used by the 
opponents. Here, 'indeed, "one picture is worth a thousand words," 
and your players can better visualize the opposition by seeing it 
acted out. Naturally, the scout should supervise the demonstrations 
and supplement them with a complete report and player discussion. 

Scouting must, of necessity, cover a great many phases of the 
game: the offensive and defensive background of the coach as a 
player and/or as a veteran mentor, his strategic specialties, the 
players and their degree of experience as well as abilities, the quality 
of the teamplay, the ability of the team to employ special offensive 
tactics, and so on. 

In preparing to meet the opponents' defense we must have in- 
formation concerning the following: 



Tight man-to-man 

Loose man-to-man 

Switching man-to-man 

Collapsing man-to-man 


Tight on the ball . . . loose away from the ball 

Zone defense 

One-Three-One zone 

Two-One-Two zone 

Two-Three zone 

Three-Two zone 

One-One-Three zone 

Three-One-One zone 


Basket hanger with Two-Two 

Man-to-man with one man playing free 

Full-court press 

Semi-court press 

One-man press 


Two-man press 

Zone press 

Special defenses 

Double-teaming the ball 

Forcing the dribbler to sidelines 


drills and practice 


There are thousands of basketball drills and the great majority 
of them are excellent teaching mediums. However, each coach has 
his favorite list. The following represent a few I use personally in 
teaching the game skills and offensive and defensive team tech- 

The photograph on page 298 shows our best passing drill. Four 
balls are used and the passing starts simultaneously in each corner. 
A great variety of passes may be used. For example, the first pass 
from player 1 to player 2 may be an over-the-shoulder two-hand 
flip. Player 1 (in each corner) cuts toward the next corner (anti- 
clockwise in this picture) and receives a return baseball pass from 
player 2. Player 1 takes the ball over his right shoulder while on the 
dead run. He then bounce-passes the ball forward to player 2 in 
the next corner. Player 2 returns the ball to player 1 with the same 
over-the-shoulder two-hand flip with which the drill was started, 
and cuts toward the next corner. 

This passing and cutting continues from corner to corner with 
each player taking part in the drill and passing and cutting and 
using all the passes in the book. The coach should call the series 
he wishes in groups of three. For example, he has just called for 




three passes, starting with the over-the-shoulder two-hand flip, fol- 
lowed by the baseball pass, and finishing with the two-hand bounce 
pass. Another series might be: "One-hand underhand back flip; one- 
hand long bounce pass; two-hand snap pass." 

The successful basketball team is skilled in the use of funda- 
mentals. It bejiooves every coach, then, to spend a great part of the 
practice session in developing player dexterity in passing, dribbling, 
cutting, handling the ball at full speed, stopping, turning and pivot- 
ing, guarding, switching, rebounding, and blocking out. 

In the pre-practice time the coach should encourage his players 
to use the medicine ball and the jumping rope to improve their 
hands and footwork. The coach should also use this time to check 
each player's shots and make sure each is practicing his position 
shots (those most often attempted in the games). 

Chart 140 

Chart 141 

Chart 142 


In Chart 140 each player has a ball. The balls cross in the air, 
the trick being to pass them on the same plane as rapidly as pos- 
sible without one ball hitting the other. 

In Chart 141 players 1 and 2 pass to teammate 3 in turn, moving 
the two balls as rapidly as player 3 can handle the passes. 

In Chart 142 the ball follows the path shown from player 1 to 2 
to 3 to 4 back to 2 and to 5 again returning to the starting point 
at player 1. Only one ball is used here, but it is possible to use 
four balls at one time and some groups can use five. The balls all 
follow the same path in the circulation. This is an excellent drill 
for the post or pivot player, and all types of passes may be used. 



Chart 143 

Chart 143 shows a running drill. Every other player is passed 
up. Player 1 passes to player 2. Player 2 passes to player 5, passing 
up player 3. Player 5 passes up player 4 and passes to player 6, and 
so on. 

Chart 144 

Chart 144 shows a marginal- or peripheral-vision drill. Player 2 
starts the drill by passing to player 1. Player 1 passes to player 5. 
Player 3 passes to player 1, and 1 passes to 4. The passes continue 
as follows: 5 to 1, 1 to 6; 4 to 1, 1 to 3; 6 to 1, 1 to 2. 



Chart 145 

The drill in Chart 145 is designed to correct the mistake of pass- 
ing the ball to a teammate's back. We call it the hand target drill. 
Player 1 passes the ball to teammate 3 and cuts. As he cuts he 
raises his right hand as a target hand. Since he is facing to the 
right when he passes the ball to teammate 3, the give-and-go weave 
continuity should carry him to the right corner. However, he has not 
raised his left hand (the correct target hand) and player 3 will 
not pass the ball to him until he ( 1 ) has reversed under the basket 
and reached point A . After the reverse, player 1 will continue back 
to the righthand corner. The players like this drill because the hand 
signal designates the cutting path. In the chart, player 3 passes the 
ball to teammate 2 and raises his right hand as he cuts; this being 
correct, player 2 may return the pass to him at once. 

The three-man backcourt weave shown in Chart 146 is used in 
the Three-Two offense and is good training for the ball handling 
needed to set up the give-and-go circulation. There may be no re- 
strictions on dribbling, as in the chart here, or the dribble may be 
eliminated. Player 1 passes to teammate 2 and cuts behind him. 
Player 2 passes to 3 and cuts behind him. The player movement is 
called a "flat figure-eight." 



Chart 146 

Chart 147 

Chart 147 shows a standing "cross-hand" passing drill. The ball 
is passed with the left or right hand but must be thrown through 
the air when the passing hand crosses above the other hand. If the 
passing hand crosses under the other arm, the player must use a 
bounce pass. In the chart, player 1 releases the ball with his left 
hand which has crossed under his right arm; he must use a bounce 

Player 2 passes the ball to player 3 with his left hand crossing 
above his right arm. It is a straight flip pass through the air. Player 
3 passes the ball to player 4 with the right hand. Since the right 



Chart 148 

hand crosses above the left arm, it is a straight flip pass through the 

Chart 148 shows a corner clearout drill. Player 1 passes to team- 
mate 2 in the corner and cuts as shown. Player 2 passes the ball 
back to player 1 and clears out by cutting toward the pivot player 
3. Player 1 now passes the ball to the pivot player 3 and cuts as 
shown. This is an excellent drill for teaching men to set up shots 
and plays by moving away from the ball. 

The four-corner dribble drill in Chart 149 also teaches the use 
of the pivot and pass. Player 1 in each line dribbles to the center 
and pivots right or left as the coach desires. He then passes to the 
corner toward which he has pivoted and follows the ball. Player 
2 in each line receives the ball and continues the drill. 

Chart 150 shows a dribble pick drill. Player 1 dribbles to a posi- 
tion approximately four feet away from his teammate 2 and sets a 
pick (facing the basket). Player 2 maneuvers right or left, cuts past 
teammate 1, and receives the ball. Adding defensive players to the 
drill will greatly increase its value. 



Chart 149 

Chart 150 


Chart 151 


In Chart 151 the pivot players dribble out to positions approxi- 
mately four to six feet from their backcourt teammates and estab- 
lish blocks. The pivot player on the right has pivoted around to face 
the basket. The pivot player on the left has established a back-up 
position. The backcourt players in each line may cut as they wish. 
The addition of defensive players to the drill will again increase its 

Chart 152 


Chart 152 shows an excellent dribble, drive, and shooting 
drill. The players in each line dribble in turn for the basket. The 



ball must be dribbled with the outside hand. The coach may yell 
"Hip!" at any time. If he does, the dribbler must stop and attempt 
a set or jump shot according to the wishes of the coach. The 
dribble and turn around the coach on the free-throw line must be 
made with the shoulder opposite the dribbling side carried low to 
develop drive. 

Here player 1 is dribbling with his right hand and has stopped 
on the "Hip!" to attempt a jump shot. Player 2, dribbling with his 
left hand, has continued on in to the basket for a lay-up because 
the coach did not yell "Hip!" 

Chart 153 

The corner-to-corner roll shown in Chart 153 incorporates the 
dribble with the outside hand for protection. Speed here is not of 
the essence since the object is ball protection. The body must be 
kept low and the ball must be dribbled opposite the right foot 
when moving right and opposite the left foot when dribbling to 
the left. The players may peel off when they get a good screen by a 
teammate and dribble hard for the basket. 

Chart 154 shows a good dribble, pivot, and cut drill. Player 1 
dribbles to the right, pivots, and passes to teammate 2. Teammate 
2 dribbles to the left with his left hand and player 1 spins away 
and cuts for the basket. Player 2 pivots and passes the ball to 
teammate 1, then spins and cuts for the basket. This drill can ex- 



Chart 154 

tend the length of the court with other twosomes following behind 
executing the same drill. 

Chart 155 

The slicing drill shown in Chart 155 is used to develop cutting 
ability and timing. Player 1 cuts first and teammate 2 tries to cut 
as closely behind him as possible. The coach may vary the slicing 
drill by yelling "Hip!" to signify that (as above) he wants player 4 



to pivot and follow teammate 3 in a trailer play. This pivot or spin 
being used by player 4 is important in avoiding an opponent when 
executing an outside screen. 

Chart 156 

In the drill shown in Chart 156 player 1 passes the ball to team- 
mate 2 who breaks out along the free-throw lane. Player 1 then 
sets a screen block in the outer half of the free-throw circle for 
teammate 3. Player 3 cuts as shown and receives the ball from 
player 2. Player 3 may shoot or pass to teammate 1. Teammate 
1 makes the rebound if player 3 shoots, and the drill continues with 
the next threesome. 

Chart 157 

The turnaround play shown in Chart 157 requires much prac- 
tice. Player 1 passes the ball in a high toss to teammate 2 who 



breaks out to the ball. As soon as player 2 gets the ball he turns, 
holding the ball high above his head, and faces the basket. Player 
1 now follows his pass and cuts around the turnaround block. 
Player 2 passes the ball to the cutter 1, dribbles in for a lay-up, or 
else shoots from his position. The same procedure is followed by 
players 3 and 4. Adding defensive players after the turnaround 
technique is mastered will add to the effectiveness of the drill. 

Chart 158 

The guard-around drill shown in Chart 158 is used by many of 
the leading teams in the country. Some teams use it as a warm-up 
drill, and many incorporate the play in their regular system. 
It has many variations. Player 1 passes to teammate 2 and breaks 
as shown. Player 2 passes the ball to teammate 3 who cuts to the 
free-throw line. Player 3 passes the ball to player 1 cutting under 
the basket. 

When the opponents are attempting to intercept the ball on its 
advance from the back court to the front court, the "pass-and-go- 
behind" (shown in Chart 159) helps in protecting the ball. Player 
1 passes the ball to teammate 2 and goes behind him as shown. 
Player 2 dribbles to the left and passes to teammate 3. He then 
cuts behind teammate 3 as shown. Player 3 dribbles and then 
passes the ball to player 1 who is driving toward the basket. 



Chart 159 

Chart 160 

Chart 160 shows a common warm-up drill. Player 1 passes to 
teammate 2 who shoots. Player 3 rebounds and passes to player 
4. Player 4 passes to teammate 5 who shoots. Player 6 rebounds 
and passes to teammate 7. Player 7 passes to teammate 8. Player 
8 shoots. 

Chart 161 shows a set-shot drill. Players are teamed up as are 
player 1 and player 2. Player 1 shoots and his teammate 2 makes 
the rebound and takes the ball out of bounds. In the meantime, 



Chart 161 

player 1 moves to a different position and player 2 passes the ball 
back to the shooter 1 for another shot. Players 3 and 4 are like- 
wise teamed up; after player 3 shoots, player 4 makes the rebound 
and takes the ball out of bounds. He then passes the ball back to 
the shooter 3 in the right corner for another shot. 

Chart 162 



In Chart 162 player 2 cuts for the basket. Teammate 1 (with 
the ball) passes to teammate 2. Teammate 2 attempts a shot and 
moves along the baseline and up the right sideline. Player 3 makes 
the rebound and passes to player 4. Player 4 passes the ball to 
player 5 who takes the shot. Player 6 makes the rebound and 
passes to player 2 who has now moved to the right sideline row of 

Chart 163 

In the drill shown in Chart 163 each offensive player must exe- 
cute an inside screen (moving between his teammate and his team- 
mate's opponent) as he passes the ball. Player 1 starts the drill by 
passing to teammate 2 and starting to move between player 2 and 
defensive player B. As player 1 starts his screen, he sees that he is 
going to charge defensive player B. By executing an offensive roll 
he can evade opponent B and avoid a charging foul. This drill is 
not as easy as it may appear. Every screen must be an inside screen. 
This means that the screener may have to stop at certain times 
to avoid a charge, or even reverse direction to evade a defensive 

The drill in Chart 164 requires the use of the outside screen 
(moving behind the teammate's opponent) by the passer. Player 
1 passes the ball to teammate 2 and is forced to use the offensive 



roll away from opponent B to avoid a charging foul. Player 2 
dribbles to the left and passes to teammate 3. In order to execute 
an outside screen at this point, offensive player 2 must execute 
a quick stop and retreat until he has enough room to move to the 
outside (behind opponent C). As in the inside-screen drill, every 
screen in this drill mus( be executed properly (behind the op- 

Chart 164 

Chart 165 shows a great conditioning and passing drill originated 
by Coach Howard Cann of New York University. It requires ex- 
pert passing skill while the players are moving at top speed. The 
player must not "travel" with the ball, it cannot touch the floor 
(dribble or fumble), and the basket must be made. Should a 
player travel, dribble, fumble, or should one player fail to receive 
the ball, the coach calls: "And again!" This continues until the 
five players can make it down and back again without making a 
mistake. Then five other players try it. ' 



Chart 165 


@ \ 







Chart 166 

The fast-break drill in Chart 166 serves a number of purposes. 
Player 1 takes the shot (anyone may shoot) and defensive players 
A, B, and C form the defensive triangle under the basket after mak- 
ing sure they have blocked out their opponents, 1,2, and 3. Player 
C makes the rebound and immediately passes to teammate E who 
has broken to the free-throw line with the shot after making sure 



his opponent 5 is not going to follow in. Teammate D has done 

Player E now passes to teammate D who dribbles rapidly up 
the center of the court. The other players fill the fast-break lanes 
as shown. Player A is the trailer and teammate C (the rebounder) 
is in charge of the defensive balance. 

Chart 167 

The "tap-in" drill in Chart 167 makes a fine warm-up drill as 
well. Player 1 passes to teammate 2 who shoots and deliberately 
misses the basket with a lay-up shot against the backboard. Player 
3 leaps high in the air and taps the ball back up against the back- 
board (preferably with two hands) and into the basket. Player 4 
makes the rebound and passes the ball to teammate 5 in the op- 
posite line. Player 5 misses the lay-up purposefully and teammate 
5 makes the tap-in shot. Player 7 makes the rebound and passes 
the ball to teammate 8. This drill keeps the players moving and 
requires great skill for proper execution. 

Chart 168 shows an excellent passing and warm-up drill. Player 
1 passes the ball to teammate 2 and follows his pass slightly to the 
right and toward the basket. Player 2 passes to teammate 3 who 
has cut to the basket and takes the shot. The original passer follows 
in as teammates 2 and 3 continue on to the left and right corners. 



Chart 168 

Player 1 makes the rebound; he may pass to either corner de- 
pending upon his position. In the chart, he passes to teammate 2 
in the left corner, and follows his pass. Player 2 may pass the ball 
back to the center line if only one ball is used. However, the drill 
works much more smoothly if each group of three players has a 
ball. In this case, player 2 would dribble up the sideline and be- 
hind the left line to the center line where he would become the 
passer and rebounder when his turn came up again. 


Most college coaches have a fairly good idea of the abilities of 
the players reporting for the team. This enables them to quickly 
weed out the weak material and initiate their regular planned 
practice program at once. However, some coaches are overwhelmed 
by the number of candidates. It is important and in the best in- 
terest of the team that the players who do not measure up to 
varsity status be eliminated. 


In my opinion, there is only one fair way to eliminate the poor 
players and that is through the medium of formal scrimmage. 
Judging players by their skill in executing fundamental drills is 
fairly simple, but it often leaves the unsuccessful candidate with 
the feeling that he wasn't given a fair chance. 

The daily practice program should be planned carefully be- 
cause every minute is precious. This means that the coach and the 
players must be punctual and report for practice on time. The 
planned program will eliminate a lot of waste time and enable the 
coach and players to move quickly from one phase of the practice 
to another. It should be posted on the dressing-room bulletin 
board so the players will know what the coach is trying to accom- 
plish. Skull practices are important in explaining the purpose of 
each drill. With this preliminary information, the players will un- 
derstand how the drill works into the regular offensive or defensive 
style of play. 

It is important that the practice outline be varied to eliminate 
"sameness" and boredom. Drills should be executed with enthusi- 
asm, and it is wise to keep each drill-time short and to move 
quickly from one drill to another. It is important, too, that the 
drills be varied in intensity. We like to alternate running and 
standing drills — but we never stop working. 

We do not believe in devoting any of our limited practice time 
to conditioning as such. We feel that the running drills and squad 
scrimmages take care of the conditioning. Most basketball play- 
ers realize the importance of developing top condition and will 
spend personal time in outside running (sprints — trotting — walk- 

At North Carolina we like to combine our individual and team 
drills with the development of our basic offense and defense be- 
ginning with the very first practice. The first week is considered an 
orientation week during which we introduce the details of our 
style of play and bring our players along slowly from the physical 
point of view. 

Beginning with the fourth week, our practice program follows 


the general outline of the third week. Naturally, new plays and 
drills are presented to the players from time to time to maintain 
interest. Hard practices are scheduled after easy games; and easy 
workouts, or none at all, follow difficult games. The practice time 
must be allotted to permit the checking of offensive and defensive 
weaknesses that become apparent in the games. Scouting informa- 
tion will itself require considerable time. However, the funda- 
mental work and drills must not be neglected. Fundamentals 
should be drilled every day. The coach should stick to his regular 
program and revise it each day to meet unusual situations and 


Concentration during this week is upon the development and 
performance of fundamentals, although the basic offensive style of 
play will be introduced. The squad should be divided into small 
groups for the drills so that particular attention may be given to 
details. Drills should be limited to short periods of time with 
emphasis being placed upon familiarizing the players with their 
purposes and execution. 

Monday— Tuesday— Wednesday 
4:00 P.M. 

Practice begins with a game warm-up drill. 

Passing— Screening— Discussion— Drills. 

Shooting techniques and areas (discussion and demonstration). 

Shooting drills (alternate running and standing). 



Defensive work. 


Offensive formation and plays. Discussion and demonstration of 
the basic style. Position requirements, screening, passing, and 
shooting possibilities. 



Th u rsday— Friday— Satu rday 
4:00 P.M. 

Practice begins with a game warm-up drill. 

Passing drills. 

Shooting drills. 

Offensive formation and plays. 


Full-court running drills. 



We can speed up our running and drill work this week since the 
players now are in fairly good condition and are familiar with the 


details of the drills and fundamentals. Beginning Thursday, we 
will initiate our offensive-situation techniques and a daily scrim- 
mage with which to end our practices. 

Monday— Tuesday— Wed nesday 
4:00 P.M. 

Practice begins with a game warm-up drill. 

Passing and screening drills at full speed. 

Shooting drills. (Alternate running and standing.) 


Basic offense. (Plays are introduced and practiced in slow mo- 


Relaxation period. (Players may rest, practice individual skills, 
or engage in "fun" drills.) 


Defensive work. 

Full-court running drill. 


Thursday— Friday— Saturday 

Team candidates who showed little ability have undoubtedly 
been sent to the jayvee squad. At the end of this week another cut 
may be made because the coach will have had an opportunity to 
see the remaining doubtful candidates in the scrimmages. 


4:00 P.M. 

Practice begins with a game warm-up drill. 

Offensive fundamental drills (running). 


Offensive situation techniques (jump-ball, out-of-bounds, free- 


Defensive work. 


Scrimmage. (Basic offense and basic defense only are used, and 
the coach must correct mistakes. Do not permit these initial scrim- 
mages to degenerate into wild individual performances. Stress 
and develop teamplay.) 




The coach can now stress offensive position work and dwell 
upon defense. Players are now capable of working at top speed in 
all drills and the results of the previous practices will be apparent. 
The coach will begin to recognize his scorers, his passers, and his 
quarterbacks. If possible a scrimmage game with another team 
should be scheduled for Friday or Saturday. At the end of this 
week the final cut should be made. 

4:00 P.M. 

Practice begins with a game warm-up dril 

Offensive running drills. 



Individual instruction in the correct use of the various shots. 
(Choose the player who has the best form for the demonstration 
of his particular specialty.) 


Defensive work. 

Offensive situation work. 



The first game will probably now be close at hand. The coach 
should make sure that his team is completely equipped to cope 
with all game situations. Several skull practices should be held 
unless they limit the practice time. The coach must not let game 
anticipation obscure the importance of continued practice of 
fundamentals. Don't overlook the necessity of being ready to meet 
the various zones, the full press and its variations, as well as the 
combination defenses. Be sure to cover your scouting notes care- 
fully and run through your coaching checklist to make sure that you 
have not overlooked some important phase of the game. 

It is wise to rehearse your game organization before the first 
game: dressing-room procedure; coming out on the court (run!); 
warming up; reporting to the official scorer and the referee; com- 
ing out of the game; and, most important, sportsmanlike perform- 
ance on and off the court. 


The preceding basketball philosophies, principles, individual 
and team fundamentals, and their application to games are gen- 


erally concerned with offensive basketball as played at North 
Carolina University. 

This book has been designed for basketball coaches and players 
at all levels. Much space has been devoted to individual offensive 
fundamentals, techniques, and methods of teaching them. Offen- 
sive team play has been approached from the coach's point of view. 
Following a thorough grounding in the individual elements of team 
play, the coach has been provided with a complete offensive style 
of play. 

Offensive variations are woven into the basic team pattern in 
such manner that the coach who adopts the North Carolina Uni- 
versity style of play will find his team fully prepared to meet all 
types of defenses. 

In addition, a great number of tactical and strategic team 
weapons are included in the text so that the coach will have suf- 
ficient material with which to surprise his team's opponents. 



passing, 29 

shooting, 93 
Adaptability, team, 9-10 
Administration, school, 1, 2 
Advancement, 154-56 

following interception, 155 

surprise defense and, 155-56 
Aggressiveness, 5 
Aids, coaching, 10 
Aiming, 102 
Angle, shooting, 105 

chart, 106 

of tip-ins, 114 
Angle cut, 80 
Areas : 

rebound, 160 

shooting, 11 

under-basket, 210 
Arizin, Paul, 67 
Assistants, coaching, 5 

note-taking by, 291 

scouting by, 294 

at staff meetings, 15 
Athlete's foot, 17 
Attack (see also Offense) 

front-court, 86 

slowing down, 12 

style of, 10 
Authority, 6 
Averages, shooting, 93 



shooting angle and, 104 

tip-in shots and, 114 

use of, in shooting, 103-4 

Back-bounce pass, 32 
Backcourt men, 23 

characteristics of, 150 

responsibilities of, 151, 153 

in Three-Two attack, 247 
Back-flip pass, 33 
Back line, 150 
Back screen, 88 
Back tap, 255 
Back-up shots, 102, 115-18 (see also 

Shots, types of) 
Balance, 52 

court, 151, 153 

defensive, 204, 206 
Ball-and-foot fake, 67 
Ball handling: 

catching, 28-29 

dribbling, 64-67 (see also Drib- 

passing (see Passes, Passing) 
Bank shots, 105 
Baseball pass, 32-33 
Basic offense, 208-10 
Basket, 102 (see also Rim) 

coach's duty to improve, 3-4 

control, 266-68 (see also Control 

defensive, 266 

in educational system, 1 

as game of motion, 78 

philosophy of, 7-13 

players, 22-26 (see also Players) 

professional, 23, 24 

rules and, 3 

year-round play, 13 
Basket hanger, 295 
Bee, Claire, 236 

to illustrate situations, 10 




Blackboards ( Cont. ) : 

pre-game use, 288 

use at squad meetings, 16 
Blocking posts, 115, 282 
Block plays, 203 
Blocks, 86, 110 (see also Screens) 

in attacking sag and float, 280 

double, 92 

dribble, 174 

inside screen, 88 

outside screen, 89 

post-pivot, 196 

rear dribble, 91 

rear post, 90 

side dribble, 91 

side post, 89 

triangle dribble, 90 

turnaround, 212 
Bounce passes, 31-32 
Bowling pass, 33 
Box-and-One defense, 295 
Breaking, 78 
Break-out, 85 
Bunched defense, 234 
Buttonhook shot, 109, 116 

Calisthenics, 16-17, 25 

selection of, 26-27 

unsuccessful, 28 

weeding out, 317-18, 321, 322 
Cann, Howard, 313 
Captains, 15 

relations with coach, 11 

selection of, 14 
Catching 28-29 
Celtics, original, 115 
Center-tap, 250, 254 (see also Jump- 
ball situations) 
Championship teams, 172 
Change-up, 81 
Character building, 3 
Charging, 313 
Chart, performance, 27 
Chest pass, 31 
Circulation, 167-69 
Clean shots, 104, 114, 116 
Coaches, 6-7, 317-18 

assistant, 5, 15, 291, 294 

background of, 294 

as character builders, 7 

code for, 1-7 

duty to improve game, 3-4 

early-season planning, 17 

Coaches ( Cont. ) : 

enthusiasm of, 10 

as faculty members, 1 

freshman, 291, 294 

in-season planning, 18-21 

jayvee, 294 

leadership by, 5 

newspapers and, 2-3 

planning for games by, 285 

practice programs and, 5-6 

pre-season duties, 13-17 

professional interests of, 3-4 

public relations and, 2 

relations with captains, 11 

relations with players, 4 

relations with students, 2 

and school loyalty, 2 

as scouts, 294 

and selection of varsity, 26-28 

sportsmanship by, 3 

as students of game, 3 

teams and, 4 

weeding out by, 317-18, 321, 322 

as youth leaders, 7 
Coaching, 10-11 

code of, 1-7 

drills and, 297 (see also Drills) 

individual, 6 

and style of attack, 10 
Coaching aids, 10 
Coaching code, 1-7 
Coaching schools, 3 
Confidence, 5 
Conditioning, 10, 18-21 

drills for, 16-17, 313 

early season, 16 

maintaining during season, 18-21 
(see also Training rules) 

methods of, 17 

practice time and, 318 
Confidence, player, 275 
Contact, defined, 224 
Control game, 266-68, 286 

passing and screening in, 267 

systems, 267 

when opponents play running game, 
Corner break-out, 85 
Corner-clearout drill, 303 
Corner-clearout play, 198 
Corner loop cut, 81 
Corner men, 23, 24, 85, 150 

characteristics of, 151 

responsibilities of, 151, 153 

in Three-Two attack, 247 



Corner-pivot plays, 195-196 
Corner-to-corner roll, 306 
Court, inspection of, 14 
Court balance, 151, 153 
Criticism, 6, 23 
Cross-court Reverse, 81 
Cross-body pass, 33 
Cross-face pass, 33 
Cross-hand passes, 302 
Cutter, 74 
Cutting, 77-85 
angle, 80 
breaking and, 78 
characteristics of good, 78 
diagonal, 118-19 
drill in, 297 
teaching of, 78-79 
types of, 80-85 
angle, 80 

corner break-out, 85 
corner loop, 81 
types of: 

cross-court reverse, 81 

Reverse Post, 84, 85 

S, 82 

scissors, 83 

slice, 82 

under and out, 85 

V, 84 


Dead ball, 103 
Deception, 30 
Decisions, 288 

near end of game, 293 

when to freeze, 292-93 
Deep back tap, 251 

against opponent's leading scorer, 

basket hanger with Two-Two, 295 

Box-and-One, 295 

bunched, 234 

changing, 207 

changing offense to meet, 12-13 

combination, 150 

control game and, 267 

fakes and, 74 

jump shot and, 113 

man-to-man (see Man-to-man de- 
fense ) 

positions for, 23 

press, 155, 275 (see also Press) 

Defense ( Cont. ) : 

rebounding by, 77-78 

sag and float, 280-81 

screens and, 86 

surprise moves in, 155 

switch, 150, 282, 283, 294 (see also 
Switch defense) 

Two-One-Two, 241 

variations in, 281-84 

versus offense, 267 

zone (see Zone defense) 
Defensive balance, 204, 206 
Defensive triangle, 315 
Dehnert, Dutch, 115 
Diagonal cuts, 118-19 
Diagonal hook shot, 118-19 
Diagonal plays, 195 
Diagonal shots, 102, 118-19 (see also 

Shots, types of) 
Diet, 19-20 

fatigue and, 21 

suggested, 20 
Discipline, 6, 8 
Double block, 92 
Double screen, 293 
Double-teaming, 275, 292, 293, 296 
Double-time, 65 

Dressing room (see Locker room) 
Dribble block, 174 
Dribble-screen, 193 
Dribble-trailer, 193 

changing direction, 65 

drills in, 303, 305 

faking and, 64-65 

fast break and, 157-58 

during freeze, 268, 271 

press and, 275 

protecting ball during, 156 

reverse, 65 

rules for, 65-67 

technique of, 64-65 

trapping, 65, 66 

use of, 64 

conditioning, 313 

corner-clearout, 303 

cross-hand passing, 302 

cutting, 297 

to develop fundamentals, 5-6, 299 

dribbling, 303, 305 

drive and shooting, 305 

fast-break, 17, 315 

full-press, 17 

fun, 5 



Drills (Cont,): 

fundamental, 299 

guard-around, 309 

hand target, 301 

importance of, 6 

inside screen, 312-13 

passing, 29, 297-98, 316-17 (see also 
Passing drills) 

peripheral vision, 300 

pivot and cut, 306 

pivoting, 52 

for pivot man, 299, 305 

running, 300 

shooting, 93, 310-12 

slicing, 307-8 

spread-eagle, 76 

tap-in, 316 

three-man passing, 288 

varied to avoid boredom, 318 

warm-up, 286, 288-89 (see also 
Warm-up drills) 
Drive and shot fake, 74 
Driving, 105, 107, 110 
Dummy play, 74, 154, 155 
Dunking, 76, 114-15 


Eastern style offense, 24 
Elimination (see Weeding out) 
Enthusiasm, 10 
Equipment, inspection of, 14 
Exercising, 13 (see also Calisthenics) 

Facing shots, 102, 105-115 (see also 

Shots, types of) 

coach as member of, 1 

coach's relations with, 2 

ball-and-foot, 67 

defense and, 74 

defined, 67 

drive and shot, 74 

dummy play, 74 

failure of, 74 

sag and float and, 280 

snap passes and, 31 
Fake-shot pass, 34 
Faking, defined, 67 
Fall-away, 114 
Fast break: 

ahead of zone formation, 247-48 

Fast break (Cont.): 

backcourt players and, 23 

drills in, 17, 315 

from game situations, 160^66 

lay-up shots and, 107, 108 

from man-to-man and zone defense, 
157, 164 

offense begins with, 12 

passing and, 32 

planning, 285 

principles of, 158-60 

purpose, 156 

rules for, 166-67 

technique of, 157 

variations in, 156 
Fatigue, 21 
Feeder, 23, 115 

hand-off, 115 

hook pass for, 32 

to pivot man, 23 
Feet, care of, 17 
Feints (see also Fakes) 

defined, 67 

failure of, 74 

snap passes and, 31 
Five-man roll, 237 
Five-man weave offense, 23, 24, 210- 

Float, 280-81 
Floaters, 280 
Follow-through, 104 
Footwork, 52 
Four-man roll, 238 
Forward flip pass, 33 
Forward tap, 253 

by defense, 86, 291 

drawing, 118 

personal, 287 

removal of player for, 290 
warning players of, 291 

during screening, 86 

to secure ball, 293 
Foul shots (see Free throws) 
Four-man roll offense, 23, 24, 238 
Free-throw circle, 150 
Free-throw lane, 108, 150 
Free throws: 

playing the lane for, 266 

positions during, 268 

practice of, 120 

two-hand overhand, 120 

two-hand overhead, 120 



Freezing, 12, 84, 268, 271-75 

complete, 271 

decision for, 291-92 

dribbling during, 268, 271 

give-and-go-away, 272-73 

give-and-go weave in, 169 

method of, 292 

pass, 292 

rules for, 274-75 

weakness in, 292-93 
Freshman coach, 291, 294 
Full-court press, 286, 289, 295 (see 

also Press) 
Full-press drills, 17 
Fumbling, 28 
Fundamentals, 11, 13, 319, 321 

in building offense, 208-9 

conditioning and, 16* 17 

drilling in, 5-6, 299 

importance of, 4-5 

pre-season practice of, 13 

repetitive drills in, 5-6 
Fun drills, § 


control, 266-68 (see also Control 

normal, 286, 289 

running, 266, 289 

style of, 286, 289 

announcement of, 2-3 

decisions during, 288 

first, 323 

officiating of, 3 

planning for, 285-88 

rules and, 3 

scrimmage, 322 
Give-and-go continuity, 78-79, 82 
Give-and-go plays, 186 
Give-and-go weave, 167-72, 179, 210- 
12, 283 

cumulation, 167-69 

five-man, 210-12, 247 

freezing with, 169 

screens and, 169 

as teaching medium, 169 

three-man plays in, 196 

in turnabout play, 177, 179 

turnaround block in, 212 
Guard-around drill, 309 
Guard-around play, 81 
Gymnasium, inspection of, 14 


Half -hook shot, 117 
Half-time, 287, 291 
Handball, 173 
Hand-off, 115 
Hand-off feeder, 115 
Hand target drill, 301 
Hard stop, 110, 113 
Health, 1-2 

and fatigue, 21 

player, 11 
Heavy-bag punching, 25, 173 

of corner men, 23 

dunking ability and, 76 

hook shots and, 117 

importance of, 22 

utilizing, 172-75 (see also Players, 

value in jumping, 75 
Held-ball situations, 75, 207, 208 (see 

also Jump-ball situations) 
Hesitation, 108 
Hook pass, 32 
Hook shot, 116-17, 118-19 

Illnesses, 2 
Injuries : 

coach's responsibility, 2 

treatment of, 2 
Inside screen, 87, 225, 226 
Inside screen block, 88 
Inside screen drill, 312-13 
Interception, 154, 155 
Intramural programs, 2 


Jayvee coach, 294 
Jayvee squad, 9, 321 
Judgment, passing, 30 
Jump-ball situations, 250-55 (see also 

development of plays from, 250-51 

formation for, 253 

front-court, 253 

occurrence, 75 
Jumping, 75-77 

developing skill in, 76 

rope, 13, 17, 25, 173, 299 

uses of, 75 
Jump pass, 34 



Jump plays {see Jump-ball situations) 
Jump shots, 112-13, 16, 119 {see also 
Shots, types of) 


Kill, 105, 106 


free-throw^ 108, 150 

playing, 266 
Lay-up shots, 105, 107-9 {see also 

Shots, types of) 
Leadership, coaching, 5 
Lineup, starting, 285, 288 
Lob pass, 33-34 
Locker rooms: 

before game, 285, 288 

supervision of, 5 
Long Island University, 236 
Loop cut, 81 
Luisetti, Hank, 113 


Managers, 5 

duties of, 14-15 

selection of, 14 
Man-to-man defense: 

changed to zone, 207 

fast break from, 157 

front-line, with back-line zone, 281, 

information on, 294 

offense against, 208-10 

Two-Three attack and, 150 

types of, 294 

zone principles in, 280 
Marginal vision, 30, 300 
Marksmanship, 93, 102-21 {see also 

Shooting ) 
Medicine balls, 13, 17, 25, 31, 299 
Meetings : 

pre-game, 288 

squad, 16 

staff, 15 

checklist for, 15-16 
Mental fatigue, 21 
Morale, 13 

praise and, 6 

reserve, 8-9 

team, 79 

of winning teams, 21 
Moving pivots, 169 


Newspapers, 2-3 

New York University, 313 

North Carolina University, 11, 167, 

247, 250, 267, 268, 275, 285, 

293, 318, 324 
Notes, scouting, 285, 323 {see also 



Offense : 

adapting to defense, 12-13 
against combination defense, 281 
against One-Three-One zone, 245- 

against One-Two-Two zone, 242-44 
against press, 275-79 
against sag and float, 280-81 
against Three-Two zone, 244-45 
against Two-One-Two zone, 238-41 
against Two-Three zone, 241-42 
basic, 208-10 
changing, 207 
checklist, 153-54 
control game, 266-67 
directed against front-line players, 

Eastern style, 24 
fast break in, 12 

five-man roll, 237 {see also Rolls) 
five-man weave, 23, 24 
four-man roll, 23, 24, 238 {see also 

four-man weave, 150 
fundamentals and, 208-9 
general, 12 

give-and-go weave, 150 
mixing, 289 
One-Three-One, 234, 236, 239, 247- 

positions for, 23-24 
roll, 150, 283 

screening in, 86 {see also Screens) 
single-pivot, 153 
single-post, 153 
spread, 154 
starting, 285, 288 
Three-Two, 24, 150, 247 
Two-Three, 23, 150-53, 196, 212-46, 

Two-Two-One, 234-35, 236, 239, 

241, 242-44, 247-48 
versus defense, 267 



Offense (Cont.): 

Western Roll, 24 

zone, 247-49 
Offensive plays, 212-34 (see also Plays) 
Offensive roll, 92 
Officials, 323 

coach's support of, 3 

incompetent, 3 

in jump-ball situations, 75, 76-77 
Official scorer, 323 
Officiating, 3, 76-77, 323 
Oklahoma A. & M., 267 
One-on-one play: 

developing, 173 

in freezing, 271 

value of, 151 

game, 323 

game-day, 285-88 
Orientation, 318 

Outlet passes, 157, 158, 160, 162 
Out-of-bounds situations : 

formations for, 256 

scoring possibilities, 256 

sideline, 260 

under-the-basket, 260 
Outside screen, 87, 224 
Outside screen block, 89 
Overcoaching, 10 
Overhead pass, 32 
Overhead shots, 110-11, 112 
Over-the-rim shots, 114-15 

Parents : 

coach's relations with, 2 

permission of, 16 
Pass-and-go-behind, 309 

in advancement, 154-56 

back-bounce, 32 

back-flip, 33 

baseball, 32-33 

bounce, 31-32 

chest, 31 

cross-face and cross-body, 33 

fake-shot, 34 

forward flip, 33 

hook, 32 

interception of, 154, 155 

in-the-air, 160 

jump, 34 

lob, 33-34 

Passes ( Cont. ) : 

long, 157 

from out-of-bounds, 154 (see also 
Out-of-bounds situations ) 

outlet, 157, 158, 160, 162 

overhead, 32 

rules for making, 34-35 

two-handed chest, 31 
Passing, 29-31 

accuracy and, 29 

cutting and, 78 

deception in, 30 

dribbling and, 64 

drills in (see Passing drills) 

when freezing, 273 

fumbling and, 28 

judgment and, 30 

methods of, 31-35 (see also Passes) 

to pivot man, 32 

rules for, 34-35 

speed in, 29-30 

split vision and, 30 
Passing drills: 

cross-hand, 302 

four-ball, 297-98 

necessity for, 29 

warm-up and, 316-17 

weave type, 273 
Pep meetings, 2 
Pep talks, 21 
Performance charts, 27 
Peripheral vision, 30, 300 
Permission, parents' playing, 16 
Personal fouls (see Fouls, personal) 
Physical examinations, 16 
Physical fatigue, 21 
Physicians, 2 

services of, 11 

weight problems and, 19 
Pivot, moving, 169 
Pivot drill, 52, 306 
Pivot foot, 67 
Pivoting, teaching of, 52 
Pivot man, 23, 24, 85, 90, 106, 115, 

characteristics of, 151 

drills for, 299, 305 

development of, 172-75 

feeding to, 32 

key player in Two-Three, 153 

location of, 150 

opportunities of, 210 

responsibilities, 151, 153 

shots used by (see Back-up shots) 

in three-man plays, 196 



Pivot spin, 224 

early season, 17 
game-day, 285-88 
in-season, 18-21 

meetings, 15-16 (see also Meetings) 
pre-season, 13-17 
Players, 7-9 

attributes of, 22 

backcourt (see Backcourt men) 

back-line, 281, 282 

checklist for, 25-26 

conditioning of, 10, 18-21 (see also 

Conditioning ) 
confidence against press defense, 

in control game, 267 
corner (see Corner men) 
development of, 22-23 
discipline of, 8 
dribbling skill of, 64-65 
duties of, 4 
enthusiasm of, 8 
front-line, 281, 282 
health of, 1-2, 11 
ideal, 24-25 

individual coaching and, 6 
jayvee, 9, 321 
maintaining interest of nonvarsity, 

overplaying of, 8 
parents of, 2, 16 
personal character of, 7 
pivot or post (see Pivot man) 
positions, 23-24 

backcourt, 23 

corner, 23, 24 

post or pivot, 23, 24 
pre-season activities, 13, 16 
qualities of team, 27 
quarterback (see Quarterbacks) 
relations with coach, 4 
reserve, 8-9 
selection of, 151 
selection for varsity, 26-28 
sportsmanship by, 3 
tall, 172-75 (see also Pivot man) 

blocking, 174 

defense by, 172-73 

developing skills of, 173 
training and health of, 1-2 
training in basic skills, 11 
Western, 113 
weight levels of, 19 
Playing the lane, 266 


block, 203 

center-tap, 250, 254 

corner-pivot, 195, 196 

diagonal, 195 

dummy, 74, 154, 155 

give-and-go, 186 

jump (see Jump-ball situations) 

last-minute, 293 

offensive, 212-34 

one-on-one, 151, 173, 271 

out-of-bounds, 256-66 (see also Out- 
of-bounds situations) 

three-man, 196-207 (see also Three- 
man plays) 

three-point, 293 

turnabout, 175-85 (see also Turn- 
about plays) 

two-man, 186-96 

two-on-two, 173 
Plugging, 29-30 

chart, 152 

defensive, 23 

during free throws, 268 

offensive, 23-24 

for out-of-bounds plays, 256 

of players in Two-Three offense, 150 

shooting, 102, 106 
Possession, tap, 250-51 
Post man (see Pivot man) 
Post-pivot block, 196 
Post-pivot man (see Pivot man) 
Post-screens, 153 
Practice programs, 5-6 

early season, 17 

first week of, 318, 319-20 

following meals, 19 

free-throw, 120 

individual coaching and, 6 

night, 11 

outline for, 10, 319-23 

planning, 5, 318 

pre-game, 286, 288-89 

reporting for, 318 

second week of, 321-22 

to simulate game conditions, 11 

skull (see Skull sessions) 

small-group, 319 

short versus long, 10 

time factor in, 5 
Praise, 6 
Pre-game practice, 285, 288-89 



Press, 275-79 

dribbling and, 275 

employed throughout game, 157 

full-court, 286, 289, 295 

one-man, 295 

preparing for, 275 

prevalence of, 155 

semi-court, 286, 295 

two-man, 296 

zone, 296 
Publicity, 2-3 
Public relations, 2 
Pump shot, 113 
Punching bag, 25, 173 


abilities of, 23, 150 

coach's relation to, 11 

court balance and, 151 

defined, 11, 150 

responsibility for directing attack, 

selection of, 322 

Rear dribble block, 91 
Rear post block, 90 
Rebound areas, 160 

angle of, 105, 106 
baseball pass and, 32-33 

by corner men, 153 

defensive, 77-78 

after free throws, 266 

offensive, 77-78 

outlet passes after, 157, 158, 160 

by pivot man, 151 
Referee, 323 

to officials, 323 

for practices, 318 
Reserves, 8-9 
Reverse, cross-court, 81 
Reverse dribble, 65 
Reverse Post, 84, 85 
Reverse spin (see Kill) 

focus on during hook shot, 117 

tip-in shots and, 114 

as shooting target, 102, 108, 111, 114 
Rollers, 238 


corner-to-corner, 306 

five-man, 237 

four-man, with post-pivot, 238 
Rope skipping, 13, 17, 25, 299 

coach's obligations, 3 

training (see Training rules) 
Running drill, 300 
Running game, 266, 289 
Running shot, 109-10 

Sag, 280-81 
Saggers, 280, 281 
San Francisco, 267 

administrations, 1, 2 

coaching, 5 

loyalty in, 2 

policies of, 1 
Scissors cut, 83 
Score book, 291 
Scorer, official, 323 
Scoring, 93, 102 

during freeze, 271, 292-93 

hook shots and, 117 

jump shots and, 113 

opponent's leader in, 291 

in out-of-bounds plays, 256 
Scouting, 12, 293-94, 323 

checklist for, 294-96 

filing reports on, 293 

to learn zone defenses, 248 

method of, 293-94 

notes gathered in, 285, 288 

review of, 288 

value of, 293 
Screens, 86-92 (see also Rlocks) 

back, 88 

blocks and, 86 

creating, 86 

cuts and, 78 

defense and, 86 

double, 293 

double block, 92 

dribble, 193 

drills in, 312-13 

inside, 87, 225, 226, 312-13 

offensive roll, 92 

outside, 87, 224 

post, 153 

tactics of, 156 

triple, 293 

used against sag and float, 280 



Screens ( Cont. ) : 

used with give-and-go weave, 169, 
Scrimmage games, 322 
Scrimmages : 
daily, 321, 322 

to eliminate poor players, 318 
method of, 322 
as selection device, 27 
S cut, 82 

Semi-Court press, 286, 295 

practice, 5-6 (see also Practices) 
skull (see Skull sessions) 
Set shots, 310-11 (see also Shots, 
types of) 
one-hand, 110-11 
two-hand, 111-12 
Shadow boxing, 13, 17, 25, 173 
Shooters, 93, 102 

angle of, 105 

chart, 106 
charted areas for, 11 
classified by direction, 102 
clean, 104, 114, 116 
drills in, 93, 310-12 
favorite positions for, 102 
free-throw, 120 
importance of, 93 
kinds of (see Shots, types of) 
rules for, 121 
spot, 260 
technique of, 104 
use of backboard in, 104-5 
Shot chart, 291 

angle of, 105 
chart, 106 
classified by direction, 102 
clean, 104, 114, 116 
free-throw (see Free throws) 
^one-hand Jump. 113-14 
technique and follow-through, 104 
types of: 
chart, 103 

diagonal hook, 118-19 
diagonal stop-jump, 119 
down-the-middle lay-up, 107-8 
dunking or over-the-rim, 114-15 
half -hook, 117 
hook, 116-17 
one-hand jump push, 119 
one-hand jump-twist ,116 
one-hand overhead, 110-11 

Shots (Cont.): 
types of ( Cont. ) : 
one-hand set, 110 
one-hand underhand lay-up, 108-9 
one-hand underhand sweep, 118 
right-hand lay-up, 107 
running one-hand, 109-10 
set, 110-12, 310-11 
step-away, 115-16 
straight turn, 115 
tip-in, 114 
twisting lay-up, 109 
two-hand overhead, 112 
two-hand overhead jump, 112, 113 
two-hand overhead lay-up, 109 
two-hand pump, 113 
two-hand set, 111-12 
two-hand underhand lay-up, 108 
two-hand underhand sweep, 118 
under-basket buttonhook, 109 
up-and-under, 116 
Side dribble block, 91 
Side post block, 89 
Side rotation, 105 
Signals, 207-8 
cutting, 263 

in out-of-bounds situations, 260 
types of, 208 
uses of, 207 
Single-pivot offense, 153 
Single-post offense, 153 

defensive, 25 

fundamental (see Fundamentals) 
offensive, 25 
shooting, 102 
Skipping, 112 
Skull sessions, 318, 323 
to explain drills, 318 
before first game, 323 
player's part in, 10 
Sleep, 19 
Slicing, 82 
Slicing drill, 307-8 
Snap pass, 31 
Speed, 11 
as ability, 22 
in passing, 29-30 
Spin, 104, 105 
"english," 107 
reverse (see Kill) 
Spirit, player, 7-8 
Split-the-post principle, 197 
Splitting the post, 82, 196, 197 
Split vision, 30 



Sportsmanship, 3, 22-23 

in coaching, 3 

player, 3, 22 
Spread-eagle drills, 76 
Spread offense, 154 
Squad meetings, 16 
Staff meetings, 15-16 
Stall, 154 

Stanford University, 113 
Starting lineup, 285, 288 
Step-away shot, 115-16 
Straight turn shot, 115 
Strategy boards, 10 
Style, game, 286, 289 
Substitutes : 

first, 290 

first-line, 289 

special-purpose, 290-91 
Substitutions, 287, 290 
Sweepers, 158, 160, 164, 165 
Sweep shots, 118 
Switch, 174, 176 
Switch defense: 

attacking, 150 

change of direction, 283 

man-to-man, 294 

screen, 282 

Tall men (see Height, Players, tall) 
Tap, 250-1, 253 (see also Jump-ball 
situations ) 

back, 255 

deep back, 251 

forward, 253 

height of toss and, 77 

necessity for controlling, 250 

signals for, 75 

timing and, 77 
Tap-in drill, 316 

in hook shots, 117 

rim as, 102, 108, 111, 114 

ethics of, 1 

of fundamentals, 4-5 

adaptibility, 9-10 

basic attacks of, 9 

championship, 172 

coaches and, 3 

control game and, 267 

fundamentals and, 5, 6 

primacy of, 8 
Telegraphing, 34 

Ten-second line, 155 
Three-man passing drill, 288 
Three-man plays, 196-207 

corner clearout, 198 

with split-the-post principle, 197 

transferring, 197 

weave in, 196, 200 
Three-point play, 293 
Three-Two offense, 24, 150, 247 
Time-outs, 207, 293 

discussion of strategy during, 290 

first, 287, 289-90 
Time shot, 111 

of cuts, 78 

in jump-ball situations, 75, 77 

in passing, 29, 30, 33 

teaching of, 169 

of tip-in shots, 114 
Tincture of Benzoin, 17 
Tip-in shot, 114 
Trailer, 163, 164, 165 
Trainers, 11, 15, 18 

coaches and, 3 

diet and, 19 

at pre-game practice, 289 
Training, 18-20 

diet requirements, 19-20 

fatigue and, 21 

health and, 1-2 

sleep requirements, 19 

weight problems and, 19 
Training rules, 11, 18-20 

importance of, 4 

violations of, 19 
Training table, 19 
Trapping, 65, 66 
Triangle, defensive, 315 
Triangle dribble block, 90 
Turnabout play, 175-185 

defined, 175 

give-and-go weave and, 179 

dribble block and, 174 

situation for, 202 
Turnaround block, 212, 308-9 
Two-handed chest pass, 31 
Two-man plays, 186-96 
Two-man press, 296 
Two-on-two plays, 173 
Two-Three offense, 23, 150-53, 196, 
212-46, 283 


Under and out cut, 85 
Up-and-under shots, 116 




Variations, defensive, 281-84 

junior (see Jayvee squad) 

selection of, 26-28 
V cut, 84 
Vision, 30, 300 


Warm-up drills, 286, 310 

pre-game, 288-89 

tap-in drill as, 316-17 
Weaves : 

five-man, 210-12 

give-and-go, 167-72 (see also Give- 
and-go weave) 

three-man backcourt, 301 

use in fast break, 156 
Weeding out, 317-18 

final, 322 

second, 321 
Weight, 24 

Weight charts, 19 
Weight problems, 19 
Western Roll offense, 24 
Workouts, 5-6 (see also Practices) 

Zone defense, 24, 150, 157, 164, 234- 
35, 247-49 
back-line, with front-line man-to- 
man, 281, 282 
four-man, 281 
list, 248-49 
One-One-Three, 295 
One-Three-One, 236, 245-46 
One-Two-Two, 234-35, 242-44 
press, 275 

principles used in man-to-man, 280 
Three-One-One, 295 
Three-Two, 236, 244-45, 295 
Two-One-Two, 238-41, 295 
Two-Three, 234, 241-42, 295 

Zone box, 282 

Zone press, 296 

University of 


,• ^>\Q Vl . 




■■' t